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In some circumstances, it can currently take up to 5 months to conduct an initial assessment for some complaints, particularly if they are complex. We are doing everything we can to reduce this time. You can find average timescales for each stage of complaint handling across all types of complaints here.

Regulating public appointments

We regulate and monitor the process used to appoint board members to certain public bodies. Our functions are set out in the Public Appointments and Public Bodies etc. (Scotland) Act 2003. The 2003 Act also includes a list of all regulated appointments, and we maintain a list of all regulated public bodies.

We regulate appointments in three main ways:

  • we have produced a Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies in Scotland. It is revised from time to time. The Scottish Government is expected to follow the Code when making regulated public appointments. We also provide guidance on how the Code is to be applied and interpreted.
  • we oversee a selection of appointments by assigning a Public Appointments Adviser (PAA). PAAs are appointed by the Commissioner and are answerable to them for their professional conduct and competence. They do not answer to Ministers or their directorates, nor to any of the public bodies. The Commissioner decides on the appropriate level of oversight for an appointment based on a range of factors, including the body’s budget and its functions. Depending on the level assigned, the PAAs provide oversight during planning only or as full selection panel members. More details are included in the guidance on application of the Code.
  • because our advisers don’t oversee all stages of all appointment rounds, we also conduct audits and thematic reviews and publish our findings. These are intended to assist the Scottish Government to gain a better understanding of the Code and to improve on its appointment practices over time. We publish good practice case studies for the same reason.

Additionally, anyone who thinks that the Code of Practice hasn’t been complied with can make a complaint.

Please follow this link for our Q&A on the regulation of Public Appointments, including a BSL translation and is available in easy read.

Regulated bodies

Make a complaint

Anyone who thinks that the Code of Practice hasn’t been complied with can make a complaint. This should be raised with the Scottish Government in the first instance. If you are not satisfied with their response you can then ask us to investigate.

Make a complaint