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COVID-19 Update: We have moved to hybrid working and our staff are not always on site. As a result we only have intermittent access to postal deliveries. Please avoid sending us anything by post. Instead email or phone us or use our website

Investigating complaints

We investigate complaints about the behaviour of MSPs, local authority councillors, and board members of public bodies and about lobbyists.

Make a complaintHow we investigate

Regulating public appointments

We regulate and monitor how people are appointed to the boards of public bodies in Scotland, and promote diversity.

Public appointmentsGood practice case studies

About the Ethical Standards Commissioner

The Commissioner and their team work within their remit to encourage fairness, good conduct and transparency in public life in Scotland. We investigate complaints about the behaviour of MSPs, local authority councillors and board members of public bodies and about lobbyists. We also regulate how people are appointed to the majority of boards of public bodies in Scotland.

Our values, our purpose and our objectives are set out in our strategic plan and our biennial business plan.

More about us


What's new


Public appointments


Updated Unacceptable Behaviour Policy

The Commissioner has recently updated their Unacceptable Behaviour Policy which defines unacceptable or unreasonable behaviour by those who interact with the work of the Commissioner. 

Public Appointments Annual Report 2020-21

The Commissioner recently published their Public Appointments Annual Report which covers our work on public appointments during the 2020/21 year. 

New Strategic and Business Plans

We have recently published an Easy Read version of our Revised Strategic Plan which outlines the Commissioner's key objectives for the four-year period from April 2020 to March 2024.

Investigation Report on a complaint about the ESC

In January 2021, a number of concerns were raised about how we investigated a complaint about the conduct of a Councillor. The issues raised were significant and we commissioned an independent investigation. We have now published the resulting report which details the issues, the investigation, the findings and our responses to the recommendations. 



Diversity in public appointments

Do you understand the difference that diversity makes in public appointments? Our page on promoting diversity might help.




Annual Report 2020-21

We recently published our Annual Report summarising the work carried out by the Ethical Standards Commissioner during 2020-21.