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SCOTTISH APPROACH TO STANDARDS OF CONDUCT

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INQUIRY INTO PROCESSES FOR MAINTAINING HIGH STANDARDS OF CONDUCT IN PUBLIC BODIES, LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND THE NATIONA...
INQUIRY INTO PROCESSES FOR MAINTAINING HIGH STANDARDS OF CONDUCT IN PUBLIC BODIES, LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND THE NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE CONTINUES

Witnesses for Thursday 17 June in Edinburgh

The third public hearing of the committee's tenth inquiry 'Getting

the Balance Right: Implementing Standards of Conduct in Public Life'

will take place on Thursday 17 June at the Menzies Belford Hotel, 69

Belford Road, Edinburgh, 10am to 3pm.

The hearing will be held in the Riverside Suite at the Menzies

Belford and is open to the public.

The following witnesses are expected to give evidence:

09.45-10.00 Photocall and Opening Statement by the Chairman

10.00-10.30 Douglas Fraser, Political Editor, Sunday Herald

10.30-11.30 Professor Lorne Crerar, Convener, Fiona Mackay,

Secretary to the Commission and D Stuart Allan, Chief Investigating

Officer, Standards Commission for Scotland

11.35-12.30 Karen Carlton, Commissioner for Public Appointments in

Scotland

13.30- 14.15 Tavish Scott MSP, Deputy Minister for Finance, Public

Services and Parliamentary Business and John Elvidge, Permanent

Secretary, Scottish Executive

14.15-15.00 Ian Gordon, Director of Service Policy and Planning, John

Swift, Head of Public Appointments Unit and Morris Fraser, NHS

Scotland

The committee is delighted at the opportunity of a working visit to

Edinburgh as part of the current inquiry.

Alistair Graham, chairman of the committee commented:

'Scotland represents an important case study in how to address

standards of conduct issues in a serious and distinctive fashion. We

are coming to Edinburgh to learn about the Scottish approach and to

see how the new institutions are dealing with the critical issues of

regulating conduct and retaining public trust.'

The committee is particularly interested in the distinctive regime

for standards of conduct in Scotland established under the Ethical

Standards in Public Life (Scotland) Act 2000. It looks forward to

discussing the operation of this Act with the convenor of the new

Standards Commissioner for Scotland. It also looks forward to

discussing probity issues in Scotland with the deputy minister, and

the new Scottish Commissioner for Public Appointments. The committee

will also be looking at issues of organisational culture in public

bodies, including the National Health Service in Scotland.

The report is expected to be published at the end of the year.

In order to take comparative evidence on the Scottish system and to

hear from witnesses based in Scotland, one of these hearings will be

held in Edinburgh on Thursday 17 June in the Riverside Suite at the

Menzies Belford Hotel, 69 Belford Road, Edinburgh EH4 3DG. The

hearing start at 10.00 and will last all day.

The Committee is particularly interested in the distinctive regime

for standards of conduct in Scotland established under the Ethical

Standards in Public Life (Scotland) Act 2000. It looks forward to

discussing the operation of this Act with the Convenor of the new

Standards Commissioner for Scotland. It also looks forward to

discussing probity issues in Scotland with the Deputy Minister, and

the new Scottish Commissioner for Public Appointments. The Committee

will also be looking at issues of organisational culture in public

bodies, including the National Health Service in Scotland.

NOTES

1. The Committee announced an inquiry into the processes for

maintaining high standards of conduct in public bodies, local

government and the National Health Service and published a

consultation paper on 15 January 2004 (PN144). This was followed by

a three-month period when we invited evidence in the form of written

submissions. The Committee has published all written evidence on its

website unless specifically asked not to by the witness or unless the

content of the submission is regarded as defamatory. The final

report is expected to be published at the end of the year.

2. Witnesses have been invited to help establish whether current

arrangements for promoting high standards of conduct in public

bodies, local government and the National Health Service are working

and how they can be improved.

3. Witnesses' evidence will address a number of key issues, including

arrangements for appointments to boards of public and NHS bodies;

codes of conduct in local government and the NHS; and whistle-blowing

and organisational culture across public bodies.

4. Public hearings started on 18 May 2004. Further hearings in London are to take place at One Great

George St, SW1, on 13 July and 15 July, with the possibility of

extra dates at the Thistle Westminster on 9 September, 14 September

and 15 September. In Edinburgh, the hearing will take place on 17

June at the Menzies Bedford Hotel, 69 Belford Rd, EH4 3DG - see PN150

for details. In Belfast, the hearing will take place on 29 June at

the Ramada Jarvis Hotel, Shawsbridge, BT8 7XP. In Cardiff the

hearing will take place on 7 July at the Thistle Cardiff, Park Place,

CF1 3UD.

5. All those who contribute to the process, either in person or on

paper, do so entirely voluntarily. Two members of the Committee take

the lead in putting questions to each witness or group of witnesses.

After that the other members join in and put particular points they

wish to raise. Where a witness has prepared an opening statement,

these are copied and made available. Transcripts of each day's

hearings are placed on our website, www.public-standards.gov.uk,

within 48 hours, wherever possible.

6. The committee's standing terms of reference are: 'To examine

current concerns about standards of conduct of all holders of public

office, including arrangements relating to financial and commercial

activities, and make recommendations as to any changes in present

arrangements which might be required to ensure the highest standards

of propriety in public life'.

7. The committee has no power to investigate specific allegations of

misconduct.

8. Members of the Committee are: Alistair Graham (Chairman), Rita

Donaghy, Hazel Genn, Patricia Hodgson,

Baroness Maddock, Gillian Shephard, Chris

Smith, Elizabeth Vallance, Brian Woods-Scawen.

9. The committee's website can be found at

www.public-standards.gov.uk

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