The Scottish Parliament is statutorily responsible for the nomination to Her Majesty the Queen for the appointment of a number of senior public appointments. The appointments made to date include:
- Caroline Gardner as the Auditor General for Scotland. The role of the Auditor General is to check that public money is spent properly, efficiently and effectively. Audit Scotland provides the Auditor General with the services she needs to carry out her role.
- Jim Martin as the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman. The Ombudsman provides a 'one-stop-shop' for members of the public making complaints about public services.
- Rosemary Agnew as the Scottish Information Commissioner. The main role of the Information Commissioner is to promote observance by public authorities of the freedom of information legislation, by which "a person who requests information from a Scottish public authority is entitled to be given it by the authority".
- Tam Baillie as Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People. The post of Commissioner has been established to promote and safeguard the rights of children and young people.
- Professor Alan Miller as the Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission. The Commission will promote widespread awareness, understanding of, and respect for human rights; review and recommend changes to any policies or practices of any Scottish public authorities and provide advice and guidance.
The appointment process for each post is conducted by a selection panel of Members set up under the Parliament’s Standing Orders. The panel is chaired by one of the Presiding Officers and the membership of each panel reflects the balance of political representation in the Parliament.
The Public Standards Commissioner for Scotland is appointed by the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body with the agreement of the Parliament. The Commissioner is Stuart Allan. The Commissioner investigates complaints that an MSP, Councillor or Member of a Public Body has broken their Code of Conduct. He does this independently and reports his findings in relation to MSPs to the Standards and Public Appointment Committee within rules laid down by Parliament in Standing Orders and the Code of Conduct and to the Standards Commission in relation to Councillors or Members of public bodies.
Stuart Allan is also the acting Public Appointments Commissioner and is responsible for scrutinising ministerial appointments to the boards of Scotland’s regulated public bodies. All appointments must comply with the requirements of the code of practice developed by the Commissioner for this purpose. When they do not, the Commissioner has the statutory power to direct the Scottish Ministers to delay making appointments and to report the case to the Scottish Parliament
In addition, the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body appoints the Members of the Scottish Human Rights Commission. The members of the Commission are Professor Kay Hampton, Shelagh McCall and Matt Smith.
With effect from 1 April 2011, sponsorship of the Standards Commission for Scotland transferred from the Scottish Government to the SPCB. The role of the Commission is to ensure that standards of ethical conduct are maintained across local authorities and public bodies; to issue general guidance to local authorities and public bodies to assist them in promoting high standards of conduct; and to hold hearings following investigations carried out by the Public Standards Commissioner. The Convener of the Commission is Ian Gordon and the Members are: Jan Polley, Matt Smith and Julia Ward.
The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body also sets the terms and conditions of appointment of each of the above mentioned officeholders and, with the exception of the Auditor General, also provides them with their annual budget.
Audit Scotland provides the services necessary for the Auditor General to undertake her role, and it is the role of the Scottish Commission for Public Audit - made up of Members of the Parliament - to examine Audit Scotland 's proposals for the use of resources and expenditure and report on them to the Parliament.