APPENDIX C - Code of Practice for members of the Committee
The Committee is appointed by Scottish Ministers under provisions in the Electricity Acts. Its statutory function is to advise Scottish Ministers and any person engaging in the generation of hydro-electric power on any question relating to the effect of hydro-electric works on fisheries or stocks of fish.
Public Service Values
Members of the Committee:
- are accountable to Scottish Ministers for the Committee's activities and for the standard of advice it provides;
- must observe the highest standards of impartiality, integrity and objectivity in relation to the advice they provide and the manner in which the Committee conducts its activities; and
- shall, in accordance with Government policy on openness, provide and make available an Annual Report on the Committee's activities.
Standards in Public Life
Each member of the Committee must:
- follow the seven principles of public life set out by the Committee on Standards in Public Life (annexed), insofar as they apply to the activities of the Committee;
- comply with this Code, and ensure that he or she is familiar with the function and role of the Committee and understands the duties, rights and responsibilities related to it;
- not misuse information gained in the course of work in the Committee for personal gain or for political purpose, nor seek to use the opportunity of public service to promote their private interests or those of connected persons, firms, businesses or other organisations; and
- not hold any paid or high-profile unpaid posts in a political party, and not engage in specific political activities on matters directly affecting the work of the Committee.
Role of Committee Members
Members of the Committee have collective responsibility for its operation. They must, so far as is practicable:
- engage fully in collective consideration of the issues, taking account of the full range of relevant factors, including any guidance issued to them by Scottish Ministers;
- ensure that the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information is adhered to and agree an Annual Report;
- respond appropriately to complaints, if necessary, with reference to The Scottish Executive; and
- ensure that the Committee does not exceed its powers or functions.
The Role of the Chairman
The Chairman has particular responsibility for providing effective leadership on the issues described above. In addition, the Chairman is responsible for:
- ensuring that the Committee meets at appropriate intervals, and that the minutes of meetings, and any reports to Scottish Ministers and others, accurately record the decisions taken and, where appropriate, the views of individual members;
- ensuring that new Committee members have been briefed on the functions of the Committee and their duties and rights and responsibilities; and
- representing the views of the Committee to the public, if appropriate.
Conflicts of Interests
Members of the Committee should not participate in the discussion or determination of matters in which they have an interest, and should normally withdraw from the meeting if:
- their interest is direct and pecuniary; or
- their interest is covered in specific guidance issued by the Committee or Scottish Ministers which requires them not to participate or to withdraw from the meeting.
THE SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF PUBLIC LIFE
(as set out by the Committee on Standards in Public Life)
Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.
Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.
In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interests.
Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.