- Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000
The Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000 (2000 asp 7) [Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000: cite web|title=Full text of the Act |url=http://www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/scotland/acts2000/plain/asp_20000007_en|publisher=
Office of Public Sector Information|accessdate=2007-11-18] is an Act of the Scottish Parliament, passed in 2000, after being introduced by Scottish Executive minister Wendy Alexander. It established that the Scottish Ministers had to issue a code of conduct for councillors, and put in place mechanisms for dealing with councillors in contravention of the code.
The Act was most notable for its repeal of
Section 28of the Local Government Act 1988in Scotland, which had prevented local authorities from "the teaching of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship." This repeal was highly controversial, and Stagecoach Groupfounder Brian Souterled a campaign against it. The bill did require that councils would, in their dealings with children, have to regard the value of a stable family relationship, and that any education about family life would be appropriate to the child's age and development.
It passed on
2000-06-21with a 99 to 17 vote, with only two abstentions, and received Royal Assenton 2000-07-04. The Local Government Act 2003repealed Section 28 in England and Walesthree years later.
Ethical Standards in Public Life framework
A framework and
Code of Conductwas established which applied to Local authority councillors and members of Scottish public bodies. [Ethical Standards in Public Life framework: cite web|title=Ethical Standards in Public Life |url=http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Government/local-government/ethical-standards|publisher=The Scottish Government |accessdate=2007-11-18] . The Act applies to Executive non-departmental public bodies, NHS Public Bodies, Scottish Waterand Further education colleges in Scotland. [List of Devolved Public Bodies: cite web|title=List of Devolved Public Bodies |url=http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Government/local-government/ethical-standards/public-bodies|publisher=The Scottish Government |accessdate=2007-11-18]
tandards Commission for Scotland
Standards Commission for Scotlandis responsible for enforcing the Code of Conduct. They act upon reports presented by the Chief Investigation Officer, a separate office. Members of the Commission are appointed by Scottish Ministers. [Standards Commission for Scotland: cite web|title=What is the Standards Commission for Scotland |url=http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Government/local-government/ethical-standards/commission|publisher=The Scottish Government |accessdate=2007-11-18] The Commission has a protocol for shared aims and objectives with the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman. [Protocol for co-operation: cite web|title=Protocol Between The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman And The Standards Commission for Scotland |url=http://www.standardscommissionscotland.org.uk/protocol_ombudsman.html|publisher=The Standards Commission for Scotland |accessdate=2007-11-18]
Chief Investigating Officer
The Chief Investigating Officer (CIO) is responsible for investigating any complaints made under the Code of Conduct. They are appointed by the Scottish Ministers and are operationally independent of the Standards Commission. The CIO will make a determination if the complaint is relevant or if another body can assist the complainant; the CIO must explain their decision. If an investigation is carried out the CIO will produce a report for the Commission. The Commission can choose to direct the CIO to conduct further investigations, convene a hearing or do neither. [Office of the Chief Investigating Office: cite web|title=Who is the Chief Investigating Officer |url=http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Government/local-government/ethical-standards/cio|publisher=The Scottish Government |accessdate=2007-11-18]
The Act does not cover the conduct of Members of the Scottish Parliament,
Scottish Ministers, employees of the Scottish Governmentor public bodies not mentioned in the Act. These complaints are handled by the Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissionerfor MSPs, the First Minister for ministers and Scottish Public Services Ombudsmanfor employees of the Scottish Government. Other complaints need to be forwarded to the Scottish Government. [Complaints against bodies not covered: cite web|title=Further Complaints |url=http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Government/local-government/ethical-standards/further-complaints|publisher=The Scottish Government |accessdate=2007-11-18]
The Act is designed to apply to officers and members who are responsible for spending public money, as such the public bodies not covered usually spend a limited amount of public money. Such bodies include
Community councils which spend little, if any, public money. [Why are Community Councils not included in the Ethical Standards Framework: cite web|title=FAQ2 |url=http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Government/local-government/ethical-standards/faq2|publisher=The Scottish Government |accessdate=2007-11-18] Further, certain public bodies cannot be covered due to legal restrictions arising from how they were established. [Why are some public bodies not included in the Ethical Standards Framework: cite web|title=FAQ1 |url=http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Government/local-government/ethical-standards/faq1|publisher=The Scottish Government |accessdate=2007-11-18]
List of Acts of the Scottish Parliament from 1999
Standards Board for England
* [http://www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/scotland/acts2000/20000007.htm Original text of the act]
* [http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/legResults.aspx?LegType=All%20Primary&PageNumber=1&Year=2000&NavFrom=2&activeTextDocId=1472546 Revised text of the act]
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