About Us

Background information

The Public Services Reform (Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland etc.) Order 2013 set up the Commissioner for Ethical Standards. The Order came into force on 1 July 2013. 

What does the Commissioner do?

The Commissioner is an independent officeholder who can consider your complaint about:

  1. a councillor or member of a devolved public body who is alleged to have contravened the Councillors’ or the appropriate Members of a public body's Code of Conduct. Where appropriate, the Commissioner will report on the outcome of these investigations to the Standards Commission for Scotland.
  2. a Member of the Scottish Parliament who is alleged to have broken the Code of Conduct for MSPs. Where appropriate, the Commissioner will report on the outcome of these investigations to the Scottish Parliament.

The Codes of Conduct imposes requirements on Councillors, Members of devolved public bodies and MSPs on how to conduct themselves in carrying out their duties.

Prior to the Public Services Reform Order - which came into force on 1 July 2013 - complaints were dealt with under separate legislation. This information is explained in Who dealt with complaints prior to the Commissioner?