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Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000

Section 19 Action on finding of contravention

36.This section deals with the sanctions available to the Commission if it considers that a councillor or member of a devolved public body has breached a relevant code.  The Commission must impose one of the following four sanctions:

  • censure;

  • partial suspension of the councillor or member from attending one or more, but not all, of the following: all meetings of the council or body; all meetings of one or more committees or sub-committees of the council or body; all meetings of any other body on which that councillor or member is a representative or nominee of the council or body. The maximum period of suspension will be one year. In the case of a councillor, where the period of suspension goes beyond the date of the next local government election, then the period of suspension will cease on that date;

  • suspension of the councillor or member from attending all of the meetings of the council or body, of any committee or sub-committee of that council, or body; and of any other body on which the councillor or member is a representative or nominee of the council or body. The maximum period of suspension is one year. In the case of a councillor where the period of suspension goes beyond the date of the next local government election, then the period of suspension will cease on that date;

  • disqualification. In the case of a councillor, from being a councillor, being nominated as a councillor or being elected as a councillor; in the case of a member of a devolved public body, removing the member from that body and disqualifying him or her from being a member of that body. The maximum period of disqualification is five years.

37.Disqualification of a councillor has the effect of vacating that councillor’s office and terminating his or her membership of any committee, sub-committee, joint committee, joint board or any other body on which that councillor sits as a representative of that local authority.

38.Where the Commission disqualifies a councillor or member, it may go on to impose the following further sanctions.

39.Where the councillor is also a member of a devolved public body other than as a representative or nominee of the council or is the Water Industry Commissioner for Scotland, the Commission may also remove and disqualify that person from membership of that body (provided the members’ code applicable to that body is then in force) or from office as the Water Industry Commissioner.

40.Where a member of a devolved public body is also a councillor, a member of any other devolved public body or is the Water Industry Commissioner for Scotland, the Commission may also disqualify that person from being a councillor and may direct that that person be removed from membership and disqualified in respect of membership of any other devolved public body (provided the members’ code applicable to that body is then in force) and may disqualify that person from office as the Water Industry Commissioner

41.On imposing the sanction of suspension on a member of a devolved public body, the Commission may also direct that any remuneration or allowance deriving from that membership and payable to that member be reduced or stopped.

42.The Commission shall, after consulting such associations of local authorities and any other bodies or persons as it thinks fit, issue guidance on the extent to which a councillor should engage in the activities of a councillor during a period of suspension.

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Text created by the Scottish Executive department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills

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