Date lodged: 24 May 2016
To ask the Scottish Government what powers, and under what legislation or judicial authority, the Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities has to deal with local authority officers who wilfully mislead elected councillors.
Answered by: Angela Constance 1 June 2016
There is a national code of conduct for local government employees in Scotland. The national code requires that employees should be as open as possible in all the decisions and actions that they take, should give reasons for their decisions, and should not restrict information unless this is clearly required by council policy or by the law. The national code also includes a statement that mutual respect between councillors and employees is essential to good local government. Each local authority has published a code of conduct for its employees in line with the national code setting out expected standards of behaviour, and it is up to each local authority to enforce that code. Scottish Ministers have no general powers that would enable them to intervene in matters between an employer and employee.