The Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland processes personal data in order to carry out our statutory duties. A list of the legislation which is relevant to our functions can be accessed here. Our statutory duties include:

·         the consideration and investigation of complaints;

·         reporting on investigations and on performance to the Scottish Parliament and to the Standards Commission for Scotland;

·         providing information and advice within the Commissioner’s statutory terms of reference;

·         corporate administration;

·         responding to freedom of information requests; and

·         other activities which require to be carried out as a data controller and a public authority.

In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 we will only process your personal data when carrying out our statutory duties.

This privacy statement was drafted with brevity and clarity in mind, and explains what you should expect when we process your personal data. It is not intended to provide exhaustive detail of all aspects of how the Commissioner may collect and use personal information. Where requested, we will endeavour to provide any additional information or explanation needed. Requests should be sent to the address provided at the end of this statement.

If you make a complaint

When we receive a complaint, a computer file containing details of the complaint is made up. We may also make up a paper file. The file will normally contain the identity of the complainer, and of other individuals identified as being involved in the complaint, together with any documentary evidence provided or subsequently gathered.

The Commissioner is permitted, or may be obliged, by law to process personal data. The complaint, together with other information and documents which relate to it, will usually be shared with the person(s) who you have complained about and others whom we need to contact during the investigation. We may need to share data, for example, with the Standards Commission for Scotland, employees of the Parliament, a council or other public body, elected members or other individuals who were perhaps witness to the circumstances complained of. We may be required to disclose the complainer’s identity to whoever the complaint is about in order to allow that person to respond meaningfully to the complaint.

We may process personal data to check the level of service we provide through customer feedback. We may also, from time to time, publish summaries of our decisions on our website. We retain personal information contained in complaint files in line with our retention policy. It is retained in a secure environment and access to it will be restricted according to the ‘need to know’ principle. A copy of our retention policy can be found here.

People who telephone us

Calls made to our office may be recorded. We may use this information to help improve our efficiency and effectiveness or for training purposes.

Security and performance

The Office of the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland uses a third party service to help maintain the security and performance of our website. To deliver this service it processes the IP addresses of visitors to the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland website.

Access to personal information

Individuals can make a request to access personal data which we hold about them by making a ‘subject access request’ under the Data Protection Act 1998. If we do hold information about you, we will provide it if we are able to, having regard to the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 Act.

To make a request for any personal information we may hold you need to put the request in writing and send it to the address provided below.

Links to other websites

This privacy statement does not cover any links within this site linking to other websites. We encourage you to read the privacy statements on the other websites you visit.

Complaints or queries

We take any complaints we receive about the way we process personal information seriously. We encourage people to bring it to our attention if they think that our processing of information is unfair or inappropriate. We would also welcome any suggestions for improving our procedures.

If we are unable to resolve any issues internally which you may have in relation to the way we have handled your personal data, you are entitled to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner. More information can be found here:

Changes to this privacy statement

We keep our privacy statement under regular review and will update and amend it as necessary.

How to contact us

If you want to contact us about anything in this privacy statement, or in relation to any other matter regarding our use of personal data, you can email us or write to the Business Manager, Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland, Thistle House, 91 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh EH12 5HE.