Psychopath Monitoring in Political Life?

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Dear Standards Commission for Scotland,

In order to ensure that integrity in public life is maintained - as well as being overseers of ethical standards of those employed in a professional capacity, within your remit (Councillors Code of Conduct) - is it also deemed necessary that those within your administrative scope, realise how important the basic human civil moral of understanding right from wrong, is?

With the above question in mind, do you take measures to ensure that psychopaths are either forbidden from influencing the lives of right thinking citizens; or at the very least, that the professional work-load of any known psychopath, who you are aware of in political life, is monitored to ensure both ethical and moral standards are maintained?

Yours faithfully,

Peter McNab

SCS Enquiries, Standards Commission for Scotland

Dear Mr McNab

Thank you for your email enquiry of 13 March 2019. The answers to your questions are outlined below.

Question 1: The individuals who fall within the Standards Commission's remit (being local government councillors and members of devolved public bodies in Scotland) are required to comply with Codes of Conduct. The Codes of Conduct are available on our website at http://www.standardscommissionscotland.o.... The Codes of Conduct are issued by the Scottish Government and are based on nine key principles of public life. The Standards Commission does not have any statutory right or remit to consider the behaviour, conduct or understanding of any local government councillors and members of devolved public bodies that falls outwith the scope of the Codes. In any event, the question of what is 'right' and 'wrong' may be subjective. Any conduct or behaviour that has been deemed to be illegal either in common law or statute would be a matter for the police to investigate.

Question 2: The Standards Commission has no right or remit in respect of who is appointed to public life. Local government councillors are elected by the public and members of devolved public bodies are appointed by Scottish Ministers. The Standards Commission works to ensure ethical standards are maintained by promoting adherence to the Codes of Conduct and by adjudicating, at public Hearings, on alleged breaches of the Codes. The Standards Commission has the power to suspend or disqualify local government councillors and members of devolved public bodies in Scotland if it is found, at a Hearing, that they have breached a Code of Conduct. More information on our work and remit can be found at http://www.standardscommissionscotland.o...

The Standards Commission does not investigate complaints that a councillor or member of devolved public body has breached the Councillors' Code of Conduct, that investigation process is the responsibility of a separate organisation, the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life. Information on how to make a complaint can be found on the Commissioner's website at

I hope this information is of assistance.

If you are dissatisfied with the way I dealt with your request for information you are entitled to ask for a review of my decision. Your request for a review should be submitted within 40 working days of receipt of this email to:

Miss Lorna Johnston
Executive Director
Standards Commission for Scotland
T2.21, Scottish Parliament
EH99 1SP
[email address]

If following receipt of the response to your request for a review you remain unhappy with the decision you can submit an appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner at Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews Fife, KY16 9DS or by submitting an appeal directly through the Commissioner ‘s website using

Yours sincerely

Julie Scott

Administrative Assistant
Standards Commission for Scotland
Room T2.21
The Scottish Parliament
EH99 1SP

Tel: 0131 348 6666


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