Officeholders

The Scottish Parliament is statutorily responsible for nominating to Her Majesty, individuals for appointment.   

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 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’s role is to 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 to provide advice and guidance.

The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) is also statutorily responsible for a number of appointments.  The appointments made to date are as follows:

  • Bill Thomson as the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland.  The Commissioner is responsible for investigating complaints about the conduct of Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs), local authority councillors and members of public bodies; and regulating how people are appointed to the boards of public bodies in Scotland.  The Commissioner is appointed by the SPCB with the agreement of the Scottish Parliament.
  • Professor Kay Hampton, Shelagh McCall and Matt Smith as members of the Scottish Human Rights Commission.  
  • With effect from 1 April 2011, sponsorship of the Standards Commission for Scotland transferred from the Scottish Government to the SPCB.  Ian Gordon is the Convener and Lindsey Gallanders,  Jan Polley,  Matt Smith and Julie Ward are members of the Commission.  The role of the Commission is to issue guidance to councils and devolved public bodies to assist them in promoting high standards of conduct and to consider reports received from the Commissioner for Ethical Standards following an investigation.  The Convener and members of the Commission are appointed by the SPCB with the agreement of the Scottish Parliament.

The SPCB 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 Scottish Parliament - to examine Audit Scotland 's proposals for the use of resources and expenditure and report on them to the Parliament.