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SPPA/S3/10/R9

9th Report, 2010 (Session 3)

MSPs’ Registrable Interests: Proposed Changes to the Code of Conduct

CONTENTS

Remit and membership

Report

Annexe A: Consultation Report on MSPs' Registrable Interests: Proposed changes to Section 2 of the Code of Conduct

Annexe B: Issues raised in consultation responses and the Committee’s response

Annexe C: Schedule to the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006

Annexe D: Revisions to the Code of Conduct

Annexe E: Determinations made under the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006 and draft resolutions

Remit and membership

Remit:

1. The remit of the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee is to consider and report on—

(a) the practice and procedures of the Parliament in relation to its business;

(b) whether a member’s conduct is in accordance with these Rules and any Code of Conduct for members, matters relating to members’ interests, and any other matters relating to the conduct of members in carrying out their Parliamentary duties;

(c) the adoption, amendment and application of any Code of Conduct for members; and

(d) matters relating to public appointments in Scotland.

2. Where the Committee considers it appropriate, it may by motion recommend that a member's rights and privileges be withdrawn to such extent and for such period as are specified in the motion.

(Standing Orders of the Scottish Parliament, Rule 6.4)

Membership:

Robert Brown
Aileen Campbell
Angela Constance
Marilyn Livingstone (Deputy Convener)
Nanette Milne
Gil Paterson (Convener)
Peter Peacock

Committee Clerking Team:

Clerk to the Committee
Alison Walker
Gillian Baxendine

Senior Assistant Clerk
Roz Wheeler
Mary Dinsdale

Assistant Clerk
Catherine Fergusson

Administrative Assistant
Stephen Fricker

MSPs’ Registrable Interests: Proposed Changes to the Code of Conduct

The Committee reports to the Parliament as follows—

Introduction

1.This report summarises the changes being proposed to the Code of Conduct for Members of the Scottish Parliament (the Code); the Schedule to the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006 (the 2006 Act) and its determinations by the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee (the SPPA Committee). The vast majority of these changes reflect the recommendations of its inquiry into MSPs’ Registrable Interests.

2.The Parliament is required to agree any changes to the Code, the Schedule to the Act and its determinations by resolution. Should Parliament agree these changes, the intention would be for the revised version of the Code to apply from the start of the next Parliamentary session.

Inquiry on MSPs' Registrable Interests: Proposed changes to Volume 2, Section 2 of the Code of Conduct

3.At the start of Session 3, a new regime came into force for the registration of members’ interests. The statutory framework for this, the 2006 Act, was developed by the Session 2 Standards Committee and was supported by a new edition (edition 3) of the Code.

4.Over the course of this session, the SPPA Committee has considered a number of complaints under the Code and members have lodged several hundred register entries. In the light of this experience, some questions arose about the new interests framework and the Committee decided to carry out an inquiry. The inquiry looked at the Schedule to the 2006 Act, which defines the categories of registrable interest, and at Section 2 (Volume 2) of the Code of Conduct (which expands on the Schedule and provides further guidance on what interests require to be registered). Although the 2006 Act itself cannot be amended without further legislation, the Schedule can be amended by Parliamentary resolution where this is considered “necessary or expedient”.

5.The Committee, in reviewing the Schedule, was guided by the following principles—

  • the register of members’ interests should capture significant financial interests;

  • this should be done in the simplest possible way to make it as straightforward as possible for members to comply with the registration requirements; and

  • any changes proposed should be in the public interest and should ensure that transparency and accountability is maintained.

6.The Committee proposes the following main changes to the categories of interest in the Schedule to the 2006 Act, and corresponding changes to the Code, intended to clarify and simplify the register of members’ interests in line with these principles. The number of categories would reduce from eight to five and the remaining category definitions would be amended as follows—

  • Remuneration: amend the definition of remuneration so that members are no longer required to register certain minor interests;

  • Related undertakings: merge this category with Remuneration;

  • Election expenses: remove this category, since the interests are already captured in members’ returns to the Electoral Commission;

  • Sponsorship: remove this category which overlaps significantly with the “gifts” category;

  • Gifts: fix the registration threshold for gifts at the start of a session rather than raising it whenever members’ salaries increase; exempt from registration donations towards election expenses relating to election as an MSP or MP or to a political party office, since these are already captured in members’ returns tothe Electoral Commission;

  • Overseas visits: no change; and

  • Heritable property and interest in shares: fix the registration threshold at the start of each session rather than raising it whenever members’ salaries increase.

7.Detailed explanations of the proposed changes are set out in the relevant extract of the Committee’s consultation report in Annexe A. The proposals in Annexe A and the additional changes set out in this covering report, reflect all of the proposed changes to the Code, the Schedule to the Act and the determinations stemming from the 2006 Act. This report should therefore be read in conjunction with the proposals in Annexe A.

8.The Committee appreciates that provisions within the Scotland Bill, under consideration by the UK Parliament, and by the Scottish Parliament at time of drafting, may change the nature of the members’ interest regime. Assuming the resulting act contains provisions on members interests, there will need to be transitional provisions in place that allow time for the Scottish Parliament to consider whether it wishes to make any fundamental changes to the existing regime. The 2006 Act would then need to be amended, or possibly even replaced, to reflect these changes. There could also be associated changes required to the Scottish Parliamentary Commissions and Commissioners etc. Act 2010. As a result, any significant changes are likely to take the majority of the next Scottish Parliamentary session to implement. The underpinning principles that the Committee has used as a basis for making the changes outlined in this report, will be useful context for this future work.

Consultation

9.The Committee is required (under Standing Order Rule 1.8), before making any changes to the Schedule to the 2006 Act, to consult all members of Parliament on proposed changes. The Committee’s consultation report was issued on 29 June 2010 to all members of Parliament, the Standards Commissioner for Scotland (the Commissioner), the law officers and was posted on the Parliament’s website so that any interested member of the public would have the opportunity to respond.

10.Substantive responses were received from the following:

  • Stuart Allan, Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner;

  • Linda Fabiani MSP;

  • Patrick Harvie MSP; and

  • Alasdair Morgan MSP.

11.Responses were also received from Dave Thompson MSP and Bill Aitken MSP stating they had nothing to add to the proposals set out in the consultation. The Committee considered the issues raised in these responses at its meeting on 5 October. A summary of the points raised in these responses which propose an alternative position to that proposed by the Committee, and the position of the Committee in relation to them is attached at Annexe B. All other comments made in the responses were supportive of the Committee’s proposals; the full responses are in Annexe B. The Committee thanks all respondents for contributing to the Committee’s work.

12.The Committee agreed, as a result of deliberations on consultation responses on its proposals, to make two changes to its original proposals; these are detailed below.

Cross-Party Group members – remuneration registration

13.Members may wish to note that, as a result of the consultation, the Committee has agreed not to pursue its original proposal (detailed in Annexe A) to exempt remuneration received solely by virtue of being a Cross-Party Group convener, deputy convener or member from registration under remuneration.

14.The Committee gave this matter extensive consideration in preparing its original proposals. It recognised at this time that, although Cross-Party Groups are regulated by the Code of Conduct, they are different in nature to Parliamentary committees in that their activities do not constitute parliamentary proceedings and the level of expenses received could, in certain circumstances, be significant amounts of money, which are not provided and therefore regulated by the SPCB.On further reflection the Committee has therefore decided not to include positions within Cross- Party Groups in the exemption.

15.In removing this proposed exemption, the Committee notes that expenses received as a result of working on a Cross-Party Group would be exempt under the general terms of the remuneration category if they consist solely of expenses from any one source which are independently, or in aggregate, below the 1% threshold for registration. Therefore, trivial amounts that do not constitute significant financial interests would be exempt, preventing members from having to register large numbers of entries which do not add to their public accountability in any meaningful way. The Committee also notes that Cross-Party Groups are required to register expenses received by the group above a threshold of £500 (in any calendar year from any single source) under the rules on Cross-Party Groups set out in section 6, Volume 2 of the Code of Conduct.

Volunteers – exemption from registration under gifts

16.The Committee noted during its consideration of consultation responses that currently the definition of gifts in the Schedule (paragraph 6(1)) does not exempt the value of volunteers who provide support for members free of charge in their own time. However, the sponsorship category specifically exempts such volunteers. Therefore, it may be that members are not currently registering volunteer support under gifts as a result of this exemption under sponsorship.

17.The Committee agreed that it wished to retain the principle that members should not be required to register support of this kind from volunteers. Therefore, in making revisions to the Schedule, the Committee has added an exemption under the gifts category for volunteers who provide support to members (whether in their capacity as members or as private individuals) free of charge in their own time.Individuals bringing their expertise on an issue to members and seeking to feed into the political process in this way make a positive and useful contribution which it is difficult to regard as constituting a significant financial interest for the relevant member since the volunteer is doing so free of charge. The Committee notes that if someone is providing support at no cost to the member but in their employer’s time and at their employer’s expense, this could still constitute a registrable gift.

18.The two changes outlined above are the only additional policy changes that have been made in response to the consultation. The proposals being put forward for Parliament’s agreement are otherwise the same as those contained in the Committee’s consultation report.

Revisions to the Schedule to the 2006 Act

19.The main changes to the Code resulting from this inquiry are to Volume 2, Section 2, reflecting the changes proposed to the Schedule to the 2006 Act. The proposed amendments to the Schedule, the existing Schedule and a Keeling Schedule which shows how the Schedule would look as amended (which is provided purely for ease of reference and has no legal effect) are attached at Annexe C.

Revisions to the determinations made under the Act

20.Implementing the Committee’s proposals also requires changes to determinations made under the 2006 Act. Such determinations can only be revised by resolution of Parliament.

21.Firstly, amendments are required to the determination under the Act which sets out the form of written statement that members should submit when registering an interest.

22.Secondly, the Committee has decided that the determination setting the registration threshold for rental income from heritable property should be replaced by a threshold prescribed in the Schedule (the approach already taken for other categories of interest with thresholds for registration). This would make the registration requirement for this category clearer by putting all the information in one place.In making this change, the Committee notes that it will still be possible to amend the threshold if desired in future, by Parliamentary resolution amending the Schedule.

23.The Committee is required to consult before seeking Parliament’s approval for any determination under the 2006 Act. The Committee consulted on the determinations between 8 November and 1 December 2010.These determinations either make no substantive policy change (heritable property) or put into effect changes already consulted on. No responses were received to this consultation.

24.The proposed revised version of the determination on written statements and a note on the Committee’s basis for proposing the removal of the heritable property determination is attached at Annexe E.

Other substantive changes to the Code separate to Inquiry proposals

Electronic registration (Volume 2, section 1, paragraphs 1.2.17 and 1.2.18).

25.This change is the addition of two paragraphs on making changes to the register. This clarifies that, following initial registration in hard copy, members may notify the Standards clerks of additions and amendments to, or deletions from, their register by email from their personal Scottish Parliament account.

Deletion of an interest (Volume 2, section 1, paragraphs 1.2.19 to 1.2.24)

26.These paragraphs have been amended to elaborate on the circumstances in which members can delete an interest from the register. It makes clear that the only form of entry that may not be deleted under the terms of the Act are those which constitute remuneration under the new remuneration and related undertaking category. This is because the member has received the remuneration and that cannot be reversed; although the terms of the entries may be amended to reflect that remuneration is no longer received from that source.

Amending an interest (Volume 2, section 1, paragraphs 1.2.25 to 1.2.27)

27.These paragraphs have been amended to make clear that, whilst a member is not required by the Act to amend the detail of interests other than as explicitly required by the Act, members are encouraged to do so as it is helpful to the public if the Register is up to date at all times.

Minor changes to the Code separate to Inquiry proposals

28. The remainder of the proposed changes to the Code are minor in nature, these include:

  • updates to references including to reflect new pieces of legislation such as the Scottish Commissions and Commissioners Act 2010 and the Companies Act 2006;

  • revisions to ensure the Code is gender neutral;

  • removal of fine levels associated with the criminal offences under the 2006 Act, so that the Code does not become out of date should the amount of a fine at level 5 on the standard scale be increased during the course of the next session;

  • updates reflecting changes in administrative processes in the Parliament, for example reflecting Personnel being re-named Human Resources; and

  • minimal drafting changes to improve the clarity of the Code.

Revised Code

29.The proposed revised Code is attached at Annexe D. As detailed above, the vast majority of the substantive changes are contained within Volume 2, Section 2 which has been entirely re-drafted. Changes to Volume 1 and the remainder of Volume 2 are highlighted in track changes.

30.The Parliament is only required to agree changes to Volume 1 of the Code (the key principles underpinning the Code) and to Volume 2 (the enforceable element of the Code). Volume 3 (which will be split into guidance on the Code and a fourth Volume containing extracts of relevant legislation, determinations and directions) does not require parliamentary approval. Volumes 3 and 4 are therefore not attached but will be agreed by the Committee and published along with the rest of the revised Code for the start of the next Parliamentary session.

Conclusion

31.The Committee recommends that the Parliament agrees the proposed changes to the Code of Conduct, the Schedule to the 2006 Act and the related determinations.

ANNEXE A: CONSULTATION REPORT ON MSPS’ REGISTRABLE INTERESTS: PROPOSED CHANGES TO SECTION 2 OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT

Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee

4th Report, 2010 (Session 3)

Consultation Report on MSPs' Registrable Interests: Proposed changes to Section 2 of the Code of Conduct

The Committee reports to the Parliament as follows—

Background

1.At the start of Session 3, a new regime came into force for the registration of members’ interests.The statutory framework for this, the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006 (the 2006 Act), was developed by the Session 2 Standards Committee and was supported by a new edition (edition 3) of the Code of Conduct for Members of the Scottish Parliament (the Code).

2.Over the course of this session, the Standards Procedures and Public Appointments Committee (the SPPA Committee) has considered a number of complaints under the Code and members have lodged several hundred register entries.In the light of this experience, some questions arose about the new interests framework and the Committee decided to carry out an inquiry. The inquiry looked at the Schedule to the 2006 Act, which defines the categories of registrable interest, and at Section 2 of the Code of Conduct (which expands on the Schedule and provides further guidance on what interests require to be registered). Although the 2006 Act itself cannot be amended without further legislation, the Schedule can be amended by Parliamentary resolution where this is considered “necessary or expedient”.1

3.The Committee, in reviewing the Schedule, was guided by the following principles—

  • the register of members’ interests should capture significant financial interests;

  • this should be done in the simplest possible way to make it as straightforward as possible for members to comply with the registration requirements;

  • any changes proposed should be in the public interest and should ensure that transparency and accountability is maintained.

4.This interim report proposes a number of changes to the Schedule which are intended to clarify and simplify the register of members’ interests in line with these principles.Before the proposals are put to the Parliament, the Committee is required (under Standing Order Rule 1.8) to consult other members.This report fulfils that requirement and the Committee encourages all members to read and comment on the proposed changes. The report is also being made available publicly on the Parliament’s website so that any other interested parties may comment.

5.Following this consultation, the Committee will publish a final report which will include the draft resolution and consequent changes to the Code of Conduct, and to determinations under the 2006 Act, which require Parliamentary approval.In particular, the Committee will at that stage publish a revised version of the form of Written Statement which members will be required to complete during initial registration of interests at the start of next session.

6.Any changes agreed by the Parliament will come into effect at the start of the next Parliamentary session.

Summary of issues

7.The Committee proposes the following main changes to the categories of interest in the Schedule to the 2006 Act.The number of categories would reduce from eight to five and the remaining category definitions would be amended as follows—

  • Remuneration: amend the definition of remuneration so that members are no longer required to register certain minor interests;
  • Related undertakings: merge this category with Remuneration;
  • Election expenses: remove this category, since the interests are already captured in members’ returns to the Electoral Commission;

  • Sponsorship: remove this category which overlaps significantly with the “gifts” category;

  • Gifts: fix the registration threshold for gifts at the start of a session rather than raising it whenever members’ salaries increase; exempt from registration donations towards election expenses relating to election as an MSP or MP or to a political party office, since these are already captured in members’ returns tothe Electoral Commission;

  • Overseas visits: no change;

  • Heritable property and interest in shares: fix the registration threshold at the start of each session rather than raising it whenever members’ salaries increase.

Discussion of proposed changes

Remuneration

Current requirements

8.Under Paragraph 2 of the Schedule to the 2006 Act, a member has a registrable interest in the “remuneration” category—

2 (1) Where a member receives, or has received, remuneration by virtue of—

(a) being employed;

(b) being self-employed;

(c) being the holder of an office;

(d) being a director of an undertaking;

(e) being a partner in a firm; or

(f) undertaking a trade, profession or vocation or any other work.

(2) A member does not fall within sub-paragraph (1) solely by virtue of being, or of having been, a member, a member of the Scottish Executive or a junior Scottish Minister or holding or having held the office of Presiding Officer, deputy Presiding Officer or member of the Parliamentary corporation.

9.The 2006 Act defines remuneration as including “any salary, wage, share of profits, fee, expenses, other monetary benefit or benefit in kind”.This definition is in the body of the Act rather than the Schedule and cannot therefore be amended by Parliamentary resolution.

Reasons for change

10.The Committee is clear that remuneration is a major category of financial interest where registration is necessary in the public interest.However the Committee feels that registration should focus on significant interests which have the potential to influence, or be perceived to influence, a member’s views or behaviour.The registration of a large number of trivial interests, which are not significant enough to create the appearance of prejudice, simply clutters the register without increasing accountability in any important way.

11.The terms of the current definition of remuneration also mean that there are some interests which fall within the definition of a registrable interest but which would not be obvious to a member reading the Schedule with the normal meaning of “remuneration” in mind.As far as possible, the Schedule and the Code should be drafted so that members can be very clear about what is and is not registrable.This is especially relevant since, under the terms of the Scotland Act 1998 and the 2006 Act, any breach of the registration requirements is a criminal offence, even if the breach is unintentional or based on a misunderstanding.

12.There are three specific examples of this kind of difficulty which members have drawn to the Committee’s attention.

13.The first example concerns members’ participation in opinion surveys.Many members participate in opinion surveys carried out by survey organisations and, in return, the organisation makes a small payment to a nominee of the member’s choice, such as a charity or the local branch of the member’s political party.

14.If a member received a fee directly themselves for participating in an opinion survey, this would be registrable as remuneration.However, even where the payment goes to a third party, the Committee has received legal advice that this would still fall within the definition of remuneration because it is a fee paid in return for work undertaken by a member and because the member is able to direct where the donation is paid.

15.The Committee questions whether a member’s actions, speeches or votes in the Parliament are likely to be influenced by a donation on this small scale from a survey organisation direct to a charitable organisation of the member’s choice.

16.The second example concerns one-off activities a member might undertake such as speaking at a conference or dinner.Often a member will not be paid any fee for such an activity but will receive expenses such as travel, meals or overnight accommodation.These are often of a trivial nature, well below the threshold which the Parliament has set for registration of gifts, but because they are in return for work undertaken, and because the definition of remuneration includes expenses, these minor expenses are registrable as remuneration.

17.The third example given to the Committee concerns the activities of Scottish Parliament Committee conveners, deputy conveners, committee members and Cross-Party Group members.The Schedule currently exempts from registration remuneration received solely by virtue of being an MSP, a Minister, a Presiding Officer or a member of the SPCB.Other offices, such as committee convener, are not exempted.Although no specific salary or allowance is paid to such office holders, any expenses they receive are potentially registrable even though these would normally be from the Parliamentary corporation.The Committee does not consider that there is any issue of improper influence where a member is being paid for undertaking a Parliamentary office.It does not therefore appear necessary in terms of public accountability for such payments to be registrable interests.

Proposed changes

18.To address these difficulties, and focus the “remuneration” category on relevant and non-trivial interests, the Committee proposes three changes to the “remuneration” category.

19.The first of these is to introduce a registration threshold for remuneration received as expenses.At present the threshold for registering remuneration is zero.The Committee considered increasing this threshold but concluded that a zero threshold is the right level in relation to registering salaries, wages, fees etc.This reflects the fact that it is important that there is a public record not simply of remuneration received but of the existence of a contractual or other financial relationship between a member and a person or organisation.However, where the interest relates to the reimbursement of a small amount of expenses, the Committee does not consider that registration serves any public interest.

20.The proposed amendment therefore sets the registration threshold for expenses received within this category at 1 per cent of a member’s salary at the start of the current parliamentary session (the same threshold as is proposed for the “gifts” category).1 per cent of the current member’s salary is £570.Where expenses are received from the one person or organisation on more than one occasion which amount in aggregate to more than the threshold, those expenses would be registrable. This exemption applies to all receipts of remuneration which consist solely of expenses from that person or organisation received from the date of the member’s return. The exemption does not apply to any individual receipt of remuneration which consists of expenses and other remuneration (eg. a fee).Members would of course need to keep track of any expenses received in order to know when the amount received from any one source exceeded the threshold.

21.The second proposed change is to remove from paragraph 2(1)(f) the phrase “any other work”.This phrase currently catches remuneration for a range of ad hoc activities in which members might engage including, for example, one-off speaking engagements, article writing or broadcast appearances, as well as the opinion survey activity discussed above.Removing this phrase is intended to remove the requirement to register these one-off activities.The Committee notes that such activities undertaken on a regular basis may still be registrable since they could be considered to fall within the definition of a “trade, profession or vocation”. This would vary from member to member depending on how frequently they undertook such activities.

22.The Committee notes that there is a small risk that the removal of the phrase “any other work” could result in a more significant item of remuneration not requiring registration (although no specific examples have arisen to date).Generally, though, significant interests will be registrable under one of the other heads of paragraph 2(1) and the amendment would avoid the need to register many insignificant items currently classed as remuneration.

23.The third proposed change is to extend the exemption in paragraph 2(2) to any remuneration received solely by virtue of holding any of the following offices:Convener, Deputy Convener or members of a Scottish Parliament committee or Convener or member of a Cross-Party Group.

Question 1: Do you agree that remuneration which consists solely of expenses should only be registrable when it exceeds a certain level of expenses from any one person or organisation? And is 1 per cent of a member’s salary the right level for that threshold?

Question 2: Do you agree that the term “any other work” should be removed from paragraph 2(1)(f) of the Schedule?

Question 3: Do you agree that remuneration received by virtue of holding an office in a Scottish Parliamentary committee or Cross-Party Group should not be registrable?

Related undertaking

Current requirements

24.Paragraph 3 of the Schedule provides for registration as follows—

3 (1) Where a member is, or was—

(a) a director in a related undertaking; or

(b) a partner in a firm,

but does, or did, not receive remuneration by virtue of being such a director or partner.

(2) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1)(a), a related undertaking is a parent or subsidiary undertaking of an undertaking of which the member is a director and receives remuneration as a director as mentioned in paragraph 2(1)(d).

25.Section 19(1) of the 2006 Act provides—

“parent undertaking” has the same meaning as in the Companies Acts (see section 1162 of the Companies Act 2006);

“subsidiary undertaking” has the same meaning as in the Companies Acts (see section 1162 of the Companies Act 2006); and

“undertaking”, except in paragraph 2(f) of the Schedule, has the same meaning as in the Companies Acts (see section 1161(1) of the Companies Act 2006).

Reasons for change

26.The Committee agrees that this type of interest should be registrable, recognising that a member who is a director of an undertaking or partner in a firm will always appear to have some sort of financial control over that undertaking or firm even if no remuneration is received.

27.However, the Committee notes that this category is rarely used; and in almost all cases where an interest is registered in this category, it relates to an interest already registered in the “remuneration” category.The Committee therefore concludes that it would be simpler, both for members registering interests and for members of the public seeking information about interests, if “related undertaking” interests were recorded within the “remuneration” category.

28.The Committee accepts that interests in this category may arise from time to time (although none have in the current session) which do not relate to a remunerated interest registered elsewhere.For example, a member may be an unremunerated partner in a firm.The Committee therefore recognises that there is not a perfect fit between the types of interest which fall within remuneration and those in related undertakings (which are, by definition, unremunerated).

29.Given the overall goal of simplifying and clarifying the register of members’ interests, and given the very limited use made of this category, the Committee does not feel that it needs to be retained as a distinct category.There would be no loss of accountability since all the same interests would continue to be registrable.

Proposed change

30.The Committee therefore proposes that the “related undertaking” category should be merged with the “remuneration” category to form a new “remuneration and related undertaking” category.

Question 4: Do you agree that the “related undertaking” category should be merged with the “remuneration” category?

Election expenses

Current requirements

31.Paragraph 4 of the Schedule provides for registration as follows—

4(1) Where contributions towards the election expenses of a member in relation to the election at which the member was returned as a member included a donation or donations by a person, the aggregate of which exceeded 25% of those election expenses.

(2) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1)—

(a) “election expenses”, in relation to a member, shall have the same meaning as “election expenses” has in relation to a candidate in the order under section 12 of the 1998 Act which is in force for the purposes of the election at which the member was returned;

(b) “person” includes a body of persons, corporate or unincorporate, but does not include a registered political party with which the member is connected; and

(c) “registered political party” means a political party registered under Part II of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c.41) and a member is connected with a registered political party if the member was returned at the election after contesting it as a candidate (whether for return as a constituency member or as a regional member) of that party.

Reasons for change

32.The Committee notes that there are at present two entirely separate regimes for registering election expenses.Members are required to report the expenses relating to their election as an MSP both in the register of members’ interests and in their election expenses returns which are submitted to the appropriate Returning Officer.

33.The Committee does not consider that it aids transparency, accountability or simplification to have two different reporting requirements for the same expenses with different thresholds and different publication arrangements.

34.The Committee further notes that the information recorded in the “election expenses” category of the Schedule is available elsewhere in the public domain in fuller form (as all donations over £50 are recorded in the return made to the Returning Officer, which is available for inspection for 2 years).This report is also available more quickly following the election (as there is no requirement to publish a register of members’ interests until 60 days after the election).The Committee concludes that the requirement to register donations in the “election expenses” category is unnecessary duplication.

35.The Committee notes that for independent candidates there would be a potential reduction in the information made available since these candidates are not registered in advance with the Electoral Commission unless they are already MSPs.It is only after they have declared their candidacy that donations they receive become registrable. Any donations received by independent candidates before they declare their candidacy may therefore not be registered elsewhere in the public domain, whereas at present such donations would be registrable in the “election expenses” category if they exceeded the 25 per cent threshold. The Committee considers this is outweighed by the benefit of avoiding duplication and simplifying the Schedule.

Proposed changes

36.The Committee therefore proposes that the “election expenses” category should be removed from the Schedule.

37.Since the intention is that such expenses should only be registered in one place (in the member’s election expenses return), the Committee also proposes an amendment to the “gifts” category to exempt such expenses from registration as gifts even if they exceed the gifts threshold. This is discussed further at paragraphs 68 – 73 below.

38.Although highly unlikely, it is possible that donations towards election expenses could take the form of heritable property, interests in shares or an overseas visit. As such donations would be most unusual, the Committee concludes they should continue to be registrable under those other categories if they met their requirements.

Question 5: Do you agree that the “election expenses” category should be removed from the Schedule?

Sponsorship

Current requirements

39.Paragraph 5 of the Schedule provides for registration as follows—

5 (1) Where a member is, or was, sponsored by any person.

(2) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1), a member is, or was, sponsored if the member receives, or has received, any financial or material support as a member (other than services provided by a volunteer) from the same person on more than one occasion which, over a parliamentary session, amounts, in aggregate, to more than the specified limit.

(3) In sub-paragraph (2), the “specified limit” means 1 per cent of a member’s salary (rounded down to the nearest £10) at the beginning of the parliamentary session in question.

40.Section 19(1) of the 2006 Act provides—

“member's salary” means the gross annual salary of a member as a member;

“parliamentary session” means the period from the date of the first meeting of the Parliament following a general election until the Parliament is dissolved

Reasons for change

41.The “sponsorship” category was intended to catch financial or material support provided to a member over time in their work as an MSP. In practice, there has proven to be significant overlap between the “sponsorship” and “gifts” categories.The dividing line is not clear with the result that interests which appear similar can fall to be registered in either category depending on the detailed circumstances of the interest.For example—

  • support for drafting a member’s bill provided over a period of time could be registered as sponsorship or a gift depending on the nature of the support and the timescales involved;

  • a one-off provision of support can be registered as a gift and then subsequently change category to sponsorship when further support is subsequently received from the same source;

  • support from the same person on more than one occasion can be registered as sponsorship or as a cumulative series of gifts (see paragraph 46 below).

42.The Committee considers that this creates confusion for members and for anyone reading the register.It also notes that the legal definition of sponsorship in the Schedule does not necessarily accord with members’ general understanding of the term.The Committee therefore concludes that it would help to simplify and clarify the register if there was only one category under which financial and material support of this sort could be registered.

Proposed change

43.The Committee therefore proposes that the “sponsorship” category should be removed from the Schedule.The Committee notes that in most cases interests currently registered as sponsorship would then fall to be registered as gifts.However, two issues arise.

44.The Code (but not the Act) tells members that if they receive a number of gifts from a single source each of which is below the gifts threshold but which cumulatively exceed it, they should consider whether the series of gifts could be considered to be one gift and whether, in these circumstances, an appearance of prejudice could be created. If so, members should register such an interest.The Committee proposes that this requirement should be included in the Schedule itself so that there is a clear requirement to register gifts from the same person on more than one occasion which, over a parliamentary session, amount in aggregate to more than the gifts threshold (and which meet the prejudice test).The new paragraph 6(1)(b) in the draft amended Schedule achieves this.As with expenses under the “remuneration” category, gifts received from the date of the member’s return would be aggregated; however any received during dissolution and before the member’s return would not be aggregated.

45.The second issue concerns the prejudice test.The Committee notes that the prejudice test does not apply to the “sponsorship” category but does to the “gifts” category.There is therefore the potential for some interests which are currently registrable not to be registrable in future.In practice, however, members are likely to take the view that the kind of interest that would be registered in the “sponsorship” category meets the prejudice test.It does not therefore seem likely in practice that there will be any reduction in accountability as a result of this proposed change.

Question 6: Do you agree that the “sponsorship” category should be removed from the Schedule?

Question 7: Do you agree that members should be required to register gifts from a single source which in aggregate exceed the gifts threshold?

Gifts

Current requirements

46.Paragraph 6 of the Schedule provides for registration of gifts as follows:

6(1) Where a member or a company in which the member has a controlling interest or a partnership of which the member is a partner, receives, or has received, a gift of heritable or moveable property or a gift of a benefit in kind and—

(a) the value of the gift, at the date on which it was received, exceeds 1 per cent of a member’s salary on that date (rounded down to the nearest £10); and

(b) that gift meets the prejudice test.

(2) Sub-paragraph (1) does not apply to the costs of travel and subsistence in connection with the member's attendance at a conference or meeting where those costs are borne in whole or in part by—

(a) the organiser of that conference; or

(b) one of the other parties attending that meeting,

as the case may be.

Gifts: threshold for registration

Reasons for change

47.Each time a member’s salary increases, the threshold above which gifts may require to be registered also increases.This increase is usually annual and by a nominal amount.For example, for the last three years, 1 per cent of a member’s salary has been—

  • £520

  • £550

  • £560

48.As a result members have to confirm the current threshold every time they acquire an interest which may be registrable within the “gifts” category.

49.The Committee wishes to provide greater clarity and ease of administration to members by setting the threshold at the start of each parliamentary session.There will be no loss of transparency since the result of this change is that, as the threshold would not increase, more gifts would be registrable over a parliamentary session than under the current arrangements.

Proposed changes

50.The Committee proposes that the financial threshold above which an interest may be registrable as a gift should be set at 1 per cent of a member’s salary (rounded down to the nearest £10) at the beginning of the current parliamentary session.This threshold would apply regardless of when the gift was acquired.

51.The Committee notes that a member may be required to register, in the “gifts” category, an interest acquired before being returned as an MSP which the member no longer holds, if the member considers that the prejudice test is met.The member may therefore not be in receipt of a salary at the time of receiving the gift.However, the Committee believes that it is reasonable to apply the threshold relating to the salary of a member at the start of the parliamentary session in which the member is considering registration, even if the gift was received before the salary level was set.A threshold has to be determined in order to give clarity and consistency and the Committee believes that the threshold set out above is a sensible approach.

52.As discussed at paragraph 46 above, the new threshold for registration of gifts would also require registration of gifts from one person whose aggregate value exceeded the threshold.

53.The prejudice test would continue to apply to any relevant interest which exceeds the financial threshold for the “gifts” category.

Question 8: Do you agree that the financial threshold for the registrable category of gifts should be set at one per cent of a member’s salary at the start of the current parliamentary session? And do you agree that the same threshold should apply to gifts received before a member was returned which the member no longer has by the date of return, and gifts the member has on or after the date of return, which are being registered in the same session?

Gifts: elections to party office

Current requirements

54.The “election expenses” category of registrable interest does not include donations to campaigns for election to party office. The “gifts” category of registrable interest is considered to include such donations, if they are over the financial threshold and meet the prejudice test.

55.There is however a degree of uncertainty about how to treat such donations given that they may not be directly received or controlled by the member in question and about the interpretation of paragraph 6(1) in relation to such donations.2

Reasons for change

56.The Committee looked at a number of ways of amending paragraph 6(1) to resolve the uncertainties which had emerged about how donations to party office campaigns should be treated.However the Committee was concerned that the attempt to clarify one set of circumstances was likely to create new uncertainties or even potential loopholes in relation to other situations or types of gift.

57.Once the Committee had decided to recommend removal of the “election expenses” category (as discussed at paragraphs 33 – 40 above), it also concluded that similar arguments were relevant to donations to campaigns for election to party office.

58.Such donations relate to party membership rather than to work as a member of the Scottish Parliament.Moreover, donations over£1500 to MSPs (who are members of political parties) for their political activities, which includes but is not limited to, any campaigns for election to party office, are registrable with the Electoral Commission3 within 30 days of acceptance. The Committee intends to add a rubric from the Scottish Parliament webpage which links to the members’ registers referring readers to the Electoral Commission for a full picture of the member’s financial interests.

59.The Committee considered carefully the fact that at present donations over 1 per cent of a member’s salary (currently £570) are registrable whereas the proposed amendment would mean that donations of under £1500 would not have to be registered anywhere.The Committee recognises that this is a reduction in the amount of information publicly available.However, the Committee concluded that the £1500 threshold for reporting donations to individual members of political parties has been set in legislation by the UK Parliament after careful consideration of the public information requirements in relation to political donations.These are therefore arguably the appropriate rules to apply to reporting these donations, rather than the more general rules of the “gifts” category.

Proposed changes

60.The Committee proposes that paragraph 6 of the Schedule should include a specific exemption from registration as gifts for donations to campaigns for election to party office.The proposed amendments provide that a donation of any kind is exempt provided it is intended by the donor to be used to meet campaign expenditure in connection with the member’s campaign for party office.

61.However, the Committee was concerned that this left a potential loophole whereby members could use donations for purposes other than the campaign and claim the exemption.Therefore the amendment also provides that the exemption ceases to apply if by the expiry of the 35th day after the election result is declared the donation has not been used for its intended purpose. At that stage it would become potentially registrable as a gift. 35 days is the time frame within which members must lodge election returns following the result of a Scottish or UK parliamentary election.

62.This cut off point has been selected because, in practice, donations to such campaigns may be received both before the member formally announces his or her intention to stand and after the result has been declared, and donations are not always used immediately on receipt. However, the 2006 Act requires registration of interests within 30 days of the member taking the oath (section 3(4)) or of acquiring the interest (section 4(5)). It may only be at the point at which election accounts are prepared that it becomes apparent a donation has not been used for campaign purposes. If a member then sought to register the donation at that stage, it is likely the 30 day period would have expired. The provisions of the exemption deal with this situation by providing that a donation to a party office campaign only becomes a registrable interest at the point at which the exemption ceases to apply; so the member then has 30 days from the date the exemption ends to register the interest.

63.The Committee noted that where a party office election takes place close to the end of a parliamentary session, the period of the exemption could run into dissolution and so the member would not be required to register the donation even if the exemption ceased to apply.However time limiting the exemption in the way suggested above reduces the likelihood of this. Furthermore, returning members have to register in the next session any previous gifts meeting the prejudice test. The Committee therefore proposes to amend the Code of Conduct to suggest that donations in these circumstances may be considered likely to meet the prejudice test.

64.The Committee notes that members would need to ensure that they could demonstrate that a donation to a campaign for election to party office had been used for the purpose of the campaign in the event of any complaint about non-registration of such donations. As discussed at paragraph 40 above, the exemption would only apply to donations registrable as gifts and not to any which would fall to be registered as Heritable property, Interest in shares or Overseas visits.

65.The Committee considers that this amendment removes the immediate uncertainty about how campaign donations should be treated within the “gifts” category. There remains the possibility of further questions about the interpretation of paragraph 6(1) arising in future in relation to a different kind of gift.In the absence of any specific other examples of “beneficial interest” the Committee has not felt it possible or necessary to amend the Schedule more generally, beyond dealing with the specific question of donations for party office elections.

Question 9: Do you agree that donations made to support election to a party office should only require to be registered with the Electoral Commission and not in the register of members’ interests?

Question 10: Are you content with the scope of the proposed exemption?

Gifts: exemption of election expenses

Current requirements

66.As detailed above, the Committee proposes to remove from the Schedule the “election expenses” category. However, donations towards election expenses could still be registrable under the “gifts” category if the registration threshold and prejudice test were met.

67.The Committee also notes that members of the Scottish Parliament have stood for election as MPs at UK parliamentary elections and that donations towards the expenses of those elections could be registrable as gifts.

Reasons for change

68.As detailed above, the Committee does not consider that donations towards Scottish Parliament election expenses should be included within the register of members’ Interests.

69.As with Scottish Parliament election expenses, a statement of donations towards UK parliamentary election expenses is registered with the Returning Officer and Electoral Commission as part of the election return.The Committee therefore proposes that such donations should not require registration in the register of members’ interests.

Proposed changes

70.The Committee proposes to exempt from registration in the “gifts” category any donations received towards the election expenses of a member in relation to—

  • the election at which that member was returned as a member of the Scottish Parliament; and

  • any UK parliamentary election at which that member stands as a candidate.

71.”Election expenses” is defined within the draft provisions. The same considerations apply to these donations as to donations to campaigns for election to party office including the purpose of the donation, the time limit placed on the exemption, the need to be able to demonstrate the use of the donation and continued registration of donations which fall into other categories.

Question 11: Do you agree that donations received towards the election expenses of a member in relation to the election at which that member was returned as a member of the Scottish Parliament and any UK parliamentary election at which that member stands as a candidate should be exempt from registration in the “gifts” category?

Question 12: Are you content with the scope of the proposed exemption?

Heritable property

Current provisions

72.Paragraph 8 of the Schedule provides for registration as follows—

8 (1) Where a member owns or holds, or has owned or held, any heritable property and sub-paragraph (2) applies.

(2) This sub-paragraph applies where either—

(a) the market value of the heritable property, at the relevant date, exceeds 50 per cent of a member’s salary on that date (rounded down to the nearest £10); or

(b) the gross income from the heritable property for the period of twelve months prior to the relevant date is greater than such amount as the Parliament may determine.

(3) Sub-paragraph (1) applies to heritable property which a member owns or holds, or has owned or held—

(a) solely in his or her own name;

(b) jointly with any other person or body; or

(c) as a trustee, whether or not jointly with other trustees, where the member has an interest as a beneficiary of the trust.

(4) Sub-paragraph (1) does not apply to heritable property—

(a) which is used as a residential home by the member or the member's spouse, civil partner or cohabitant;

(b) which was used as a residential home by the member or the member's spouse, civil partner or cohabitant but which, for a period of not more than 12 months, is or was unoccupied and for sale; or

(c) which forms part of the assets of a partnership and any income from that partnership is, or forms part of, the remuneration registered under paragraph 2 of this Schedule.

(5) Where a member has ceased to own or hold any heritable property before the date on which the member was returned as a member, the relevant date is that date when the heritable property ceased to be so owned or held.

(6) Where a member owned or held any heritable property at the date on which the member was returned as a member, the relevant date is—

(a) that date; and

(b) the 5th April immediately following that date and in each succeeding year, where the heritable property continues to be so owned or held on that 5th April.

(7) Where a member becomes the owner of or acquires any heritable property after the date on which that member was returned as a member, the relevant date is—

(a) the date on which the member became the owner of or acquired that heritable property; and

(b) the 5th April immediately following that date and in each succeeding year, where the heritable property continues to be so owned or held on that 5th April.

73.Section 19 of the 2006 Act provides—

“member's salary” means the gross annual salary of a member as a member;

“heritable property” includes any right or interest in heritable property whether in Scotland or elsewhere;”

Reasons for change

74.The Committee is content that heritable property (other than the member’s residential home) should be registrable where it generates income. The amount of income over which registration is presently required by the Parliament is nil. The Committee is content that heritable property should also be registrable where its market value exceeds 50 per cent of a member’s salary and that this should be subject to an annual review given fluctuations in the property market. However, the fact that sub-paragraph (2)(a) links the member’s salary to the relevant date (as defined above) means that members require to review the value of their heritable property against a slightly different threshold each year.

Proposed change

75.The Committee considers that it would be simpler to fix this threshold on the basis of a member’s salary at the start of the parliamentary session. Members would continue to assess their heritable property annually, but would assess it against one figure for the whole of the parliamentary session without requiring to re-calculate this each year. This proposed change is in line with that proposed for the threshold for the “gifts” category and expenses within the “remuneration” category.

76.As with the “gifts” category, a member may be required to register Heritable property acquired before being returned as an MSP which the member no longer holds, if the member considers that the prejudice test is met.The member may therefore not be in receipt of a salary at the time the property is acquired or disposed of.However, the Committee believes that for clarity and consistency across the Schedule it is reasonable to apply the threshold relating to the salary of a member at the start of the parliamentary session in which the member is considering registration.

77.Such an amendment would not lead to any loss of transparency within the register, as the threshold for registration would be kept slightly lower over the course of a session than it would otherwise be.If anything, more heritable properties would therefore require registration over the course of a session than under the current provisions.

Question 13: Do you agree that the threshold for registration of interests in the “heritable property” category should be fixed on the basis of a member’s salary at the start of the parliamentary session? And do you agree that the same threshold should apply to heritable property owned before and after a member was returned which is being registered in the same session?

Interest in shares

Current provisions

78.Paragraph 9 of the Schedule provides for registration as follows—

9 (1) Where a member has, or had, an interest in shares, whether that interest is, or was, held by the member or by a relevant person, and sub-paragraph (2) applies.

(2) This sub-paragraph applies where either—

(a) the nominal value of the shares at the relevant date is, or was, greater than 1% of the total nominal value of the issued share capital of the company or other body; or

(b) the market value of the shares at the relevant date exceeds, or exceeded, 50 per cent of a member’s salary on that date (rounded down to the nearest £10).

(3) Sub-paragraph (1) applies apply to an interest in shares, whether that interest is, or was, held by a member (or a relevant person)—

(a) solely in his or her own name;

(b) jointly with any other person or body; or

(c) as a trustee, whether or not jointly with other trustees where the member has an interest as a beneficiary of the trust.

(4) Sub-paragraph (1) does not apply to an interest in shares which forms part of the assets of a partnership and any income from that partnership is, or forms part of, remuneration registered under paragraph 2 of this Schedule.

(5) Where a member has ceased to have an interest in shares before the date on which the member was returned as a member, the relevant date is the date when the interest in such shares ceased to be so held.

(6) Where a member had an interest in shares at the date on which the member was returned as a member, the relevant date is—

(a) that date; and

(b) the 5th April immediately following that date and in each succeeding year, where the interest is retained on that 5th April.

(7) Where a member acquires an interest in shares after the date on which the member was returned as a member, the relevant date is—

(a) the date on which the interest in shares was acquired; and

(b) the 5th April immediately following that date and in each succeeding year, where the interest is retained on that 5th April.

(8) In this paragraph—

(a) an “interest in shares” means an interest in shares comprised in the share capital of a company or other body; and

(b) “relevant person” is a person who is subject to the control or direction of a member in respect of an interest in shares.

79.Section 19(1) of the 2006 Act provides—

“member's salary” means the gross annual salary of a member as a member;
“shares” includes stock.

Reasons for change

80.The Committee is content that interests in shares should be registrable where either of the thresholds set out in sub-paragraph (2) is exceeded and it is content that the value of shares should be reviewed on an annual basis.However, the fact that sub-paragraph (2)(b) links a member’s salary to the relevant date means that members have to review the value of their shares against a slightly different threshold each year.

Proposed change

81.The Committee considers that it would be simpler to fix this threshold on the basis of a member’s salary at the start of the parliamentary session so that members can review the value of their shares against the same threshold each year.This is in line with the amendments proposed to the “gifts, remuneration and heritable property” categories.

82.As with the Gifts and Heritable property categories, a member may be required to register interests in shares already disposed of before being returned as an MSP, if the member considers that the prejudice test is met.The member may therefore not be in receipt of a salary at the time the interest is acquired or disposed of.However, the Committee believes that for clarity and consistency across the Schedule it is reasonable to apply the threshold relating to the salary of a member at the start of the parliamentary session in which the member is considering registration.

83.The proposed amendment would not lead to any loss of transparency as the threshold for registration would be kept slightly lower than it would otherwise be.

Question 14: Do you agree that the threshold for registration of interests in the “interest in shares” category should be fixed on the basis of a member’s salary at the start of the parliamentary session? And do you agree that the same threshold should apply to interests in shares held before and after a member was returned which are being registered in the same session?

Annexe B: Issues raised in consultation responses and the Committee’s response

Threshold for registration of certain interests of 1% of a member’s salary

1.The gifts category and the new provision for remuneration consisting solely of expenses both use 1% of a member’s salary as the threshold for the requirement to register. The Standards Commissioner suggested that 1% was ‘at the higher end of what is reasonable’.

2.In considering this, the Committee has had regard to the original reasoning behind the threshold being set at 1%. In the amendment stages during the passing of the 2006 Act, the Parliament debated and agreed amendments lodged by Alasdair Morgan MSP to increase the threshold from 0.5% to 1%. This was in part to guard against having to register minor inconsequential gifts. 1% may be at the higher end of the scale, but is not in excess of thresholds set in some other administrations, including in the UK Parliament.

3.On balance, the Committee considers that it would wish the Code to continue to reflect the previously determined will of Parliament in this respect, and so has decided to keep the threshold at 1%.

Removal of ‘any other work’ from the criteria for registration in the remuneration category

4.Alasdair Morgan MSP and the Commissioner questioned the implications of the removal of reference to ‘any other work’ from the definition of interests registrable under remuneration.

5.The Committee is clear that remuneration is a major category of financial interest where registration is necessary in the public interest. However the Committee feels that registration should focus on significant interests which have the potential to influence, or be perceived to influence, a member’s views or behaviour. The registration of a large number of trivial interests, which are not significant enough to create the appearance of prejudice, can clutter the register without increasing accountability in any important way. For example, at present members are required to register the cost of a lunch at a conference where the member makes a speech as this could be considered to be remuneration for the speech.

6.The Committee concludes that all the remuneration likely to be registrable solely under the ”any other work” provision is also likely to constitute a minor or insignificant interest. The absence of any minimum value threshold for remuneration makes it more important for the definition to be drafted to catch only significant financial interests and the Committee therefore considers that this change should be made.Furthermore, any activity which in isolation would have fallen under “any other work” may fall under “trade, profession or vocation” and therefore be registrable if it is carried out frequently and becomes a more significant interest.

Exempting certain expenses

7.Linda Fabiani MSP suggested that exempting from registration remuneration received solely as expenses below a certain threshold could give rise to a situation where a member was receiving expenses from a number of different sources which totalled in excess of the threshold but, because monies were not from the same source, they would not be registrable.

8.The Committee considers that if a member receives a significant amount of money, including in the form of expenses, from the same source then this should be registered for reasons of public accountability. Its proposals for registration under this category, specifically the requirement to register expenses received which in aggregate exceed the 1% threshold, ensures that if a member is receiving any significant amount of money from one source then these expenses must be registered. The Committee does not consider that the overall amount of money received by a member, where it is made up of lots of low value expenses from a multitude of sources, is of such interest as a member receiving a significant amount from one source. The Committee therefore does not intend to make any change to its proposals on expenses.

Office holders exempt from registration of remuneration

9.The Committee had proposed that members undertaking work in their capacity as conveners, deputy conveners and members of committees and Cross-Party Groups should be added to the list of officeholders currently exempt from registering under remuneration (such as the Presiding Officer and ministers) where the remuneration is received solely in their capacity as that officeholder. At present any such remunerationreceived by any members of committees or Cross-Party Groups ispotentially registrable.

10. Consultation responses from Linda Fabiani MSP and Alasdair Morgan MSP questioned the proposal to exempt Cross-Party Group members from registration of remuneration and related undertaking. Linda Fabiani also questioned the proposal to exempt members of committees.

11. The Committee considers that it is legitimate to include members undertaking committee work within the list of exemptions. When acting in this capacity members are undertaking their parliamentary duties, this is the basis for the exemption for other forms of remuneration such as remuneration for the Presiding Officer. In addition, where members of committees are undertaking work in that capacity, since the funds received would normally be from the Parliamentary Corporation, checks and balances are in place in relation to the level of expenses they can receive. For example, bids from committees for fact-finding visits and other work are considered by the Conveners Group and in certain circumstances the Parliamentary Bureau. The level of expenses members can receive for such visits is regulated by the levels prescribed in the re-imbursement of expenses scheme.

12. In summary, in relation to committee members, the Committee does not consider that there is any issue of improper influence where a member is being paid or receiving expenses purely for undertaking a Parliamentary office. It does not therefore appear necessary in terms of public accountability for such payments to be registrable interests.

13. However, having given further consideration to the proposal on Cross-Party Group membership, the Committee has agreed to support the suggestion that remuneration received solely by virtue of being a Cross-Party Group member should not be exempt from registration.

14. The Committee gave this matter extensive consideration in preparing its original proposals. It recognised at this time that, although Cross-Party Groups are regulated by the Code of Conduct, they are different in nature to Parliamentary committees in that their activities do not constitute parliamentary proceedings and the level of expenses received could, in certain circumstances, be significant amounts of money, which are not provided and therefore regulated by the SPCB.On further reflection the Committee has therefore decided not to include Cross-Party Groups in the exemption.

15. In removing this proposed exemption, the Committee notes that expenses received as a result of working on a Cross-Party Group would be exempt under the general terms of the remuneration category if they consist solely of expenses from the same source and are independently, or in aggregate, below the 1% threshold for registration. Therefore, trivial amounts that do not constitute significant financial interests would be exempt, preventing members from having to register large numbers of entries which do not add to their public accountability in any meaningful way. The Committee also notes that Cross- Party Groups are required to register expenses received by the group above a threshold of £500 (in any calendar year from any single source) under the rules on Cross-Party Groups set out in section 6, Volume 2 of the Code of Conduct.

Exemption of election expenses from the gifts category

16. Linda Fabiani MSP raises concerns about the proposal to exempt donations received towards election to a party office, Scottish Parliament elections or UK elections from registration under the gifts category. Patrick Harvie MSP also questionsthe removal of election to party office expenses from this category and suggests that, should the Committee proceed with this, as a minimum a link should be included from each member's entry in the register to the relevant information held by the Electoral Commission, along with a brief description of the types of information it holds.

17. The Committee considers that donations towards election to a party office relate to party membership rather than to work as a member of the Scottish Parliament. Moreover, donations over £1500 to MSPs (who are members of political parties) for their political activities, which includes but is not limited to, any campaigns for election to party office, are registrable with the Electoral Commission within 30 days of acceptance.

18. The Committee considered carefully the fact that at present donations over 1% of a member’s salary (currently £570) are registrable whereas the proposed amendment would mean that donations of under £1500 would not have to be registered anywhere. The Committee recognises that this is a reduction in the amount of information publicly available. However, the Committee concluded that the £1500 threshold for reporting donations to individual members of political parties has been set in legislation by the UK Parliament after careful consideration of the public information requirements in relation to political donations. These are therefore arguably the appropriate rules to apply to reporting these donations, rather than the more general rules of the “gifts” category.

19. The Committee welcomes the Standards Commissioner’s supportive comments in relation to all of the Committee’s proposals in relation to election expenses—

“the proposed amendments represent a sensible rationalisation of the Code, which, given the overlapping jurisdiction of the Electoral Commission, do not result in any significant risk to the public interest or to transparency of reporting.”

20. The Committee is supportive of the suggestion from Patrick Harvie MSP in relation to providing links to information registered with the Electoral Commission. The Committee intends to add a rubric to the register of interests on the Scottish Parliament website referring readers to the Electoral Commission for a full picture of the member’s financial interests.

Appendix

CONSULTATION RESPONSES

RESPONSE FROM STUART ALLAN, SCOTTISH PARLIAMENTARY STANDARDS COMMISSIONER

Consultation Report on MSPs’ Registrable Interests: Proposed Changes to Section 2 of the Code of Conduct

Thank you for your letter of 29 June asking for comments on the Consultation Report on MSPs’ Registrable Interests.

I attach a copy of my comments which I hope the Committee finds of interest.

I do consider that – as a general observation - the proposals in the Report are reasonable, balanced and proportionate and, if accepted, will provide greater clarity and avoid undue duplication of statutory provisions.

If you wish any further comments please do not hesitate to get back in touch.

Yours sincerely,

D Stuart Allan

Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

Remuneration

Question 1: Do you agree that remuneration which consists solely of expenses should only be registrable when it exceeds a certain level of expenses from any one person or organisation?And is 1% of a member’s salary the right level for that threshold?

Remuneration which consists only of expenses should be registrable only when it exceeds an agreed threshold. The proposed threshold of 1% of a member’s salary, namely £570, I would regard as being at the higher end of what is reasonable for this purpose. Consideration might be given to reducing the threshold to 0.5% (£285) or 0.75% (£425) of a member’s salary.

Question 2: Do you agree that the term “any other work” should be removed from paragraph 2(1)(f) of the Schedule?

Paragraph 13 of the Consultation Report explains that the current definition of remuneration is disproportionately wide. Paragraph 18 refers to one - off payments of expenses such as travel, meals or overnight accommodation for speaking at a conference or dinner which are not associated with the normal meaning of the word. Paragraph 23 confirms that the purpose of the deletion of the phrase ‘any other work’ is to eliminate the requirement to register one - off activities of little financial significance, such as making a response to opinion survey questionnaires.

As the Consultation Report acknowledges in paragraph 24, however, this amendment could result in a more significant item of remuneration not requiring registration, although it might be caught under one or other of the heads of the existing paragraph 2(1) of the Schedule to the 2006 Act.

It appears that the amendment opens the way for the arguable exclusion from the requirements of registration of any single fee, or consultancy payment. Paragraph 24 says ‘no specific examples have arisen to date’ however paragraph 23 provides examples of potential media involvement which might involve the receipt of substantial fees.

Rather than delete ‘any other work’ in its entirety, so as to make clear the association with undertaking a trade, profession or vocation, paragraph 2(1)(f) might be redrafted as follows: ‘undertaking a trade, profession or vocation or any other similar work.’

I would also observe, at this point, that the definition of ‘remuneration’ in the Code (paragraph 2.2 of Volume 2 refers) goes beyond the definition in the 2006 Act by referring to ‘reimbursement of costs incurred’. I consider the additional wording in the Code should be removed for the sake of clarity and consistency.


Question 3: Do you agree that remuneration received by virtue of holding an office in a Scottish Parliamentary committee or Cross-Party Group should not be registrable?

Yes, for the reasons set out in the Consultation Report.

Related undertaking

Question 4: Do you agree that the “related undertaking” category should be merged with the “remuneration” category?

Yes, the proposed amendments represent a sensible consolidation of the Code.

Election expenses

Question 5: Do you agree that the “election expenses” category should be removed from the Schedule?

Yes, the proposed amendments represent a sensible rationalisation of the Code, which, given the overlapping jurisdiction of the Electoral Commission, do not result in any significant risk to the public interest or to transparency of reporting.

Sponsorship

Question 6: Do you agree that the “sponsorship” category should be removed from the Schedule?

Yes, for the reasons set out in the Consultation Report.

Sponsorship cont…

Question 7: Do you agree that members should be required to register gifts from a single source which in aggregate exceed the gifts threshold?

Yes.

Gifts: threshold for registration

Question 8: Do you agree that the financial threshold for the registrable category of gifts should be set at one per cent of a member’s salary at the start of the current parliamentary session? And do you agree that the same threshold should apply to gifts received before a member was returned which the member no longer has by the date of return, and gifts the member has on or after the date of return, which are being registered in the same session?

1% of a member’s salary is £570 and this threshold excludes from the requirement of registration gifts of substantive or substantial value.I would regard the proposed threshold as at the higher end of what is reasonable for this purpose. Consideration might be given to reducing the threshold to 0.5% (£285) or 0.75% (£425) of a member’s salary.

It should be noted that the levels set for this purpose in other jurisdictions are (i) for the UK Parliament, 1% of salary (£650); (ii) for the Welsh Assembly, 0.5% of salary (£270); (iii) for the Northern Ireland Assembly, 0.5% of salary (£217); and (iv) for local government in Scotland, no threshold is set but the draft of a revised Code of Conduct (as currently laid before Parliament) provides for one of £50.

The threshold should be set at the start of the current parliamentary session.

The same threshold should apply to gifts received before a member was returned which the member no longer has by the date of return, and gifts the member has on or after the date of return, which are being registered in the same session.

Gifts: elections to party office

Question 9: Do you agree that donations made to support election to a party office should only require to be registered with the Electoral Commission and not in the register of members’ interests?

Yes, again the proposed amendments represent a sensible rationalisation of the Code which, given the overlapping jurisdiction of the Electoral Commission, does not result in any significant risk to the public interest or to transparency of reporting.

Question 10: Are you content with the scope of the proposed exemption?

Yes.

Gifts: exemption of election expenses

Question 11: Do you agree that donations received towards the election expenses of a member in relation to the election at which that member was returned as a member of the Scottish Parliament and any UK parliamentary election at which that member stands as a candidate should be exempt from registration in the “gifts” category?

Yes, again the proposed amendments represent a sensible rationalisation of the Code which, given the overlapping jurisdiction of the Electoral Commission, do not result in any significant risk to the public interest or transparency of reporting.

Gifts cont…

Question 12: Are you content with the scope of the proposed exemption?

Yes.

Heritable property

Question 13: Do you agree that the threshold for registration of interests in the “heritable property” category should be fixed on the basis of a member’s salary at the start of the parliamentary session? And do you agree that the same threshold should apply to heritable property owned before and after a member was returned which is being registered in the same session?

Yes and yes, for the reasons given in the Consultation Report.

Interest in shares

Question 14: Do you agree that the threshold for registration of interests in the “interest in shares” category should be fixed on the basis of a member’s salary at the start of the parliamentary session? And do you agree that the same threshold should apply to interests in shares held before and after a member was returned which are being registered in the same session?

Yes and yes, for the reasons set out in the Consultation Report.

Additional comments

Question 15: Do you have any additional comments in relation to the Committee’s report?

As a general observation, I consider that the proposals in the Report are reasonable, balanced and proportionate and, if accepted, will provide greater clarity andavoid undue duplication of statutory provisions.

RESPONSE FROM LINDA FABIANI MSP

Remuneration

Question 1: Do you agree that remuneration which consists solely of expenses should only be registrable when it exceeds a certain level of expenses from any one person or organisation?And is 1 per cent of a member’s salary the right level for that threshold?

No, because if more than one organisation/company/individual funds a particular event or function by way of expenses, then the one event or function may cost over the threshold but expenses payments divided so that the threshold is not seen to be breached.

I do believe that 1 per cent is the right level covering expenses for such an event or function

Question 2: Do you agree that the term “any other work” should be removed from paragraph 2(1)(f) of the Schedule?

yes

Question 3: Do you agree that remuneration received by virtue of holding an office in a Scottish Parliamentary committee or Cross-Party Group should not be registrable?

No – I don’t see why remuneration linked in this way should be treated differently from other remuneration. Particularly XPGs which are wide and varied and do not have the same degree of transparency as official parliamentary business

Related undertaking

Question 4: Do you agree that the “related undertaking” category should be merged with the “remuneration” category?

yes

Election expenses

Question 5: Do you agree that the “election expenses” category should be removed from the Schedule?

yes

Sponsorship

Question 6: Do you agree that the “sponsorship” category should be removed from the Schedule?

Yes, with the proviso that this is adequately covered by ‘gifts’

Sponsorship cont…

Question 7: Do you agree that members should be required to register gifts from a single source which in aggregate exceed the gifts threshold?

yes

Gifts: threshold for registration

Question 8: Do you agree that the financial threshold for the registrable category of gifts should be set at one per cent of a member’s salary at the start of the current parliamentary session? And do you agree that the same threshold should apply to gifts received before a member was returned which the member no longer has by the date of return, and gifts the member has on or after the date of return, which are being registered in the same session?

Yes

Gifts: elections to party office

Question 9: Do you agree that donations made to support election to a party office should only require to be registered with the Electoral Commission and not in the register of members’ interests?

No – if the person seeking office is an elected member then transparency is paramount in all of these issues.

Gifts: exemption of election expenses

Question 11: Do you agree that donations received towards the election expenses of a member in relation to the election at which that member was returned as a member of the Scottish Parliament and any UK parliamentary election at which that member stands as a candidate should be exempt from registration in the “gifts” category?

No – see ‘9’ above

Gifts cont…

Question 12: Are you content with the scope of the proposed exemption?

Heritable property

Question 13: Do you agree that the threshold for registration of interests in the “heritable property” category should be fixed on the basis of a member’s salary at the start of the parliamentary session? And do you agree that the same threshold should apply to heritable property owned before and after a member was returned which is being registered in the same session?

yes

Interest in shares

Question 14: Do you agree that the threshold for registration of interests in the “interest in shares” category should be fixed on the basis of a member’s salary at the start of the parliamentary session? And do you agree that the same threshold should apply to interests in shares held before and after a member was returned which are being registered in the same session?

yes

Additional comments

Question 15: Do you have any additional comments in relation to the Committee’s report?

I think we should all remember how important ‘perception’ is to members of the public

RESPONSE FROM PATRICK HARVIE MSP

Question 9: Do you agree that donations made to support election to a party office should only require to be registered with the Electoral Commission and not in the register of members’ interests?

While there are indeed requirements for such donations to be made to the Electoral Commission, not every member of the public who is searching for the information will be familiar with this aspect of electoral law. Given that many people look in the first instance for information in the Scottish Parliament register of members' interests, it seems hard to justify a decision to remove this category of information.

If the decision is made to go ahead and exempt this information from the register, I would suggest as a minimum that each member's entry in the register includes a link to the relevant information held by the Commission, and a brief description of the types of information it holds.

RESPONSE FROM ALASDAIR MORGAN MSP

In general I agree with the proposed changes. The objective of the scheme should be to make it as simple as possible both for the member and the public to operate. There is a danger at the moment that members may fall foul of some of the technicalities of the system, simply because it is too technical, not because of any intention of wrong doing on their part.

However I do have certain issues with some questions as follows: --

Question 2: Do you agree that the term “any other work” should be removed from paragraph 2(1)(f) of the Schedule?

I can see why the committee is anxious to remove “any other work”, but I am not clear as to where the border line is crossed between undertaking any other work as defined in (f) and being employed as defined in (a). Although the example of completing a survey for charity is to me an unobjectionable one which should not be registered, I would need to be convinced that removing “any other work” does not at the same time exclude from registration other more substantial items which are not covered by other parts of the definition.

Question 3: Do you agree that remuneration received by virtue of holding an office in a Scottish Parliamentary committee or Cross Party Group should not be registrable

Although I agree that remuneration received as a result of holding office in a Parliamentary committee should not be registrable, I am not at all clear that this should apply to cross-party groups. I am not aware of cross-party groups attracting remuneration, but they certainly do not get any remuneration from the parliament. This means that, if such remuneration did occur, it would be likely to come from some of the industries associated with the cross-party group and, given the potential grey area between the activities of cross-party groups and lobbying, I suspect it would not be wise to exclude remuneration in respect of cross-party groups from the requirement for registration.

Question 6: Do you agree that the “sponsorship” category should be removed from the Schedule?

Unless I have misunderstood this section I am concerned that the provision under sponsorship where it includes "material support as a member" would not necessarily be, and certainly not obviously be, covered by the provision under gifts. I am thinking particularly of a situation where an organisation supplies clerical or research support in the drafting of a member's Bill.I remain to be convinced that this is covered by the gifts cause at the present moment.

Annexe C:

modifications to the Schedule to the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006

Remuneration

1 (1) In the heading to paragraph 2 (Remuneration) of the Schedule, after “Remuneration” insert “and Related undertaking”.

(2) Paragraph 2 is amended as follows.

(3) At the beginning of that paragraph, insert –

“(A1) Where the circumstances are as described in sub-paragraph (1) or (1A).”

(4) In sub- paragraph (1)(f), delete the words “or any other work”.

(5) After sub-paragraph (1), insert

“(1A) Where a member is, or was—

(a) a director in a related undertaking; or

(b) a partner in a firm,

but does, or did, not receive remuneration by virtue of being such a director or partner.”

(6) In sub-paragraph (2), insert after “corporation” the words “or of Convener, deputy Convener or member of a Committee of the Parliament”.

(7) After sub-paragraph (2), insert –

“(3) Sub-paragraph (1) does not apply where the remuneration received from a person on a single, or on more than one, occasion during the current parliamentary session consists solely of expenses unless those expenses amount, or amount in aggregate, to more than the specified limit.

(4) The exception in sub-paragraph (3) applies even although the remuneration received from that person on another occasion, or on other occasions, during that session does not consist solely of expenses.

(5) In this paragraph –

“current parliamentary session” means the parliamentary session which begins immediately after, or in which, the member is returned;

“a related undertaking” is a parent or subsidiary undertaking of an undertaking of which the member is a director and receives remuneration as a director as mentioned in sub-paragraph (1)(d); and

“specified limit” means 1% of a member’s salary (rounded down to the nearest £10) at the beginning of the current parliamentary session.”

Related undertaking, Election Expenses and Sponsorship

2 Paragraphs 3 (Related Undertaking), 4 (Election expenses) and 5 (Sponsorship) of the Schedule are deleted.

Gifts

3 (1) Paragraph 6 (Gifts) of the Schedule is amended as follows.

(2) In sub-paragraph (1), delete sub-paragraph (a) and the words “(b) that gift meets” and insert –

“(a) in the case where the gift was received from a person on a single occasion, the value of that gift, at the date on which it was received, exceeds the specified limit; or

(b) in the case where gifts were received from that person on more than one occasion during the current parliamentary session, the aggregate value of those gifts, at the dates on which they were received, exceeds the specified limit and, in either case,

(c) that gift or those gifts meet”

(3) In sub-paragraph (2),

(a) after “to” insert “(a)”;

(b) delete “(a)” (where it occurs for the second time) and insert “(i)”;

(c) delete “(b)” and insert “(ii)”; and

(d) after “the case may be” delete the full stop and insert –

“;

(b) any support (of any kind) provided by the services of a volunteer which are provided in that volunteer’s own time and free of charge; or

(c) a donation (of any kind) which is intended by the donor to be used for the purpose of meeting

(i) any campaign expenditure incurred in connection with the member’s campaign for election to a party office;

(ii) the election expenses of the member in relation to the election at which that member was returned as a member of the Scottish Parliament; or

(iii) the election expenses of the member in relation to any UK parliamentary election at which that member stands as a candidate,

but this exemption ceases to apply if the donation is not used for its intended purpose by the expiry of the 35th day after the election result is declared.”

(4) In sub-paragraph (3)

(a) delete “sub-paragraph (1)” and insert “this paragraph:-

“candidate” has the same meaning as in section 118A, as read with section 90ZA(5) of the Representation of the People Act 1983;

“campaign expenditure” includes expenditure incurred, whether before or after the member’s candidacy for election to the party office is announced or after the date on which the result of that election is declared, which can reasonably be described as being for the purposes of that campaign;”

and

(b) in the end of the definition of “controlling interest” delete the fullstop and insert –

“;

“current parliamentary session” means the parliamentary session which begins immediately after, or in which, the member is returned;

“election expenses”, in relation to a member, has the same meaning for the purposes of

(i) sub-paragraph (2)(c) (ii) as “election expenses” has in relation to a candidate in the order under section 12 of the 1998 Act which is in force for the purposes of the election at which the member was returned; and

(ii) sub-paragraph (2)(c)(iii) as “election expenses” has in section 90ZA of the Representation of the People Act 1983;

“party office” means an office in a registered political party with which that member is connected;

“registered political party” means a political party registered under Part II of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 and a member is “connected with” a registered political party if the member was returned at the election after contesting it as a candidate (whether for return as a constituency member or as a regional member) of that party; and

“specified limit” means 1% of a member’s salary (rounded down to the nearest £10) at the beginning of the current parliamentary session.“

Heritable Property

4 (1) Paragraph 8 (Heritable property) of the Schedule is amended as follows.

(2) In sub-paragraph (2)(a), delete the words “50 per cent of a member’s salary on that date (rounded down to the nearest £10)” and insert “the specified limit”.

(3)Delete sub-paragraph (2)(b) and insert-

“(b) any income is receivedfrom the heritable property during the twelve months prior to the relevant date.”

(4)In sub-paragraph (3)(a), delete “his or her own” and insert “ the member’s”.

(5) After sub-paragraph (7) insert –

“(8) In this paragraph –

“current parliamentary session” means the parliamentary session which begins immediately after, or in which, the member is returned; and

“specified limit” means 50% of a member’s salary (rounded down to the nearest £10) at the beginning of the current parliamentary session.”

Interest in shares

5 (1) Paragraph 9 (Interest in shares) of the Schedule is amended as follows.

(2) In sub-paragraph (2)(b), delete the words “50 per cent of a member’s salary on that date (rounded down to the nearest £10)” and after “£10)” and insert “the specified limit”.

(3)In sub-paragraph (3), delete “apply”.

(4) In sub-paragraph (3)(a), delete “his or her own name” and insert “ the name of the member (or relevant person)”.(5) In sub-paragraph (8),

(a) insert after “paragraph”-

““current parliamentary session” means the parliamentary session which begins immediately after, or in which, the member is returned;”

(b) delete the words “(a)” and “and (b)”; and

(c) at the end of that sub-paragraph, delete the full stop and insert -“ ;

“specified limit” means 50% of a member’s salary (rounded down to the nearest £10) at the beginning of the current parliamentary session.”

Current Schedule to the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006

Registrable financial interests

1 A member has, or had, a registrable financial interest in the circumstances set out in the following paragraphs.

Remuneration

2( 1) Where a member receives, or has received, remuneration by virtue of—

(a) being employed;

(b) being self-employed;

(c) being the holder of an office;

(d) being a director of an undertaking;

(e) being a partner in a firm; or

(f) undertaking a trade, profession or vocation or any other work.

(2) A member does not fall within sub-paragraph (1) solely by virtue of being, or of having been, a member, a member of the Scottish Executive or a junior Scottish Minister or holding or having held the office of Presiding Officer, deputy Presiding Officer or member of the Parliamentary corporation.

Related undertaking

3 (1) Where a member is, or was—

(a) a director in a related undertaking; or

(b) a partner in a firm,

but does, or did, not receive remuneration by virtue of being such a director or partner.

(2) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1)(a), a related undertaking is a parent or subsidiary undertaking of an undertaking of which the member is a director and receives remuneration as a director as mentioned in paragraph 2(1)(d).

Election expenses

4 (1) Where contributions towards the election expenses of a member in relation to the election at which the member was returned as a member included a donation or donations by a person, the aggregate of which exceeded 25% of those election expenses.

(2) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1)—

(a) “election expenses”, in relation to a member, shall have the same meaning as “election expenses” has in relation to a candidate in the order under section 12 of the 1998 Act which is in force for the purposes of the election at which the member was returned;

(b) “person” includes a body of persons, corporate or unincorporate, but does not include a registered political party with which the member is connected; and

(c) “registered political party” means a political party registered under Part II of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c.41) and a member is connected with a registered political party if the member was returned at the election after contesting it as a candidate (whether for return as a constituency member or as a regional member) of that party.

Sponsorship

5 (1) Where a member is, or was, sponsored by any person.

(2) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1), a member is, or was, sponsored if the member receives, or has received, any financial or material support as a member (other than services provided by a volunteer) from the same person on more than one occasion which, over a parliamentary session, amounts, in aggregate, to more than the specified limit.

(3) In sub-paragraph (2), the “specified limit” means 1 per cent of a member's salary (rounded down to the nearest £10) at the beginning of the parliamentary session in question.

Gifts

6 (1) Where a member or a company in which the member has a controlling interest or a partnership of which the member is a partner, receives, or has received, a gift of heritable or moveable property or a gift of a benefit in kind and—

(a) the value of the gift, at the date on which it was received, exceeds 1 per cent of a member's salary on that date (rounded down to the nearest £10); and

(b) that gift meets the prejudice test.

(2) Sub-paragraph (1) does not apply to the costs of travel and subsistence in connection with the member's attendance at a conference or meeting where those costs are borne in whole or in part by—

(a) the organiser of that conference; or

(b) one of the other parties attending that meeting,

as the case may be.

(3) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1), “controlling interest” means, in relation to a company, shares carrying in the aggregate more than half of the voting rights exercisable at general meetings of the company.

Overseas visits

7 (1) Where a member makes, or has made, a visit outside the United Kingdom and that visit meets the prejudice test.

(2) Sub-paragraph (1) does not apply to a visit, the travel and other costs of which—

(a) are wholly met—

(i) by the member;

(ii) by the member's spouse, civil partner or cohabitant;

(iii) by the member's mother, father, son or daughter;

(iv) by the Parliamentary corporation; or

(v) out of the Scottish Consolidated Fund; or

(b) were approved prior to the visit by the Parliamentary corporation.

Heritable property

8 (1) Where a member owns or holds, or has owned or held, any heritable property and sub-paragraph (2) applies.

(2) This sub-paragraph applies where either—

(a) the market value of the heritable property, at the relevant date, exceeds 50 per cent of a member's salary on that date (rounded down to the nearest £10); or

(b) the gross income from the heritable property for the period of twelve months prior to the relevant date is greater than such amount as the Parliament may determine.

(3) Sub-paragraph (1) applies to heritable property which a member owns or holds, or has owned or held—

(a) solely in his or her own name;

(b) jointly with any other person or body; or

(c) as a trustee, whether or not jointly with other trustees, where the member has an interest as a beneficiary of the trust.

(4) Sub-paragraph (1) does not apply to heritable property—

(a) which is used as a residential home by the member or the member's spouse, civil partner or cohabitant;

(b) which was used as a residential home by the member or the member's spouse, civil partner or cohabitant but which, for a period of not more than 12 months, is or was unoccupied and for sale; or

(c) which forms part of the assets of a partnership and any income from that partnership is, or forms part of, the remuneration registered under paragraph 2 of this Schedule.

(5) Where a member has ceased to own or hold any heritable property before the date on which the member was returned as a member, the relevant date is the date when the heritable property ceased to be so owned or held.

(6) Where a member owned or held any heritable property at the date on which the member was returned as a member, the relevant date is—

(a) that date; and

(b) the 5th April immediately following that date and in each succeeding year, where the heritable property continues to be so owned or held on that 5th April.

(7) Where a member becomes the owner of or acquires any heritable property after the date on which that member was returned as a member, the relevant date is—

(a) the date on which the member became the owner of or acquired that heritable property; and

(b) the 5th April immediately following that date and in each succeeding year, where the heritable property continues to be so owned or held on that 5th April

Interest in shares

9 (1) Where a member has, or had, an interest in shares, whether that interest is, or was, held by the member or by a relevant person, and sub-paragraph (2) applies.

(2) This sub-paragraph applies where either—

(a) the nominal value of the shares at the relevant date is, or was, greater than 1% of the total nominal value of the issued share capital of the company or other body; or

(b) the market value of the shares at the relevant date exceeds, or exceeded, 50 per cent of a member's salary on that date (rounded down to the nearest £10).

(3) Sub-paragraph (1) applies apply to an interest in shares, whether that interest is, or was, held by a member (or a relevant person)—

(a) solely in his or her own name;

(b) jointly with any other person or body; or

(c) as a trustee, whether or not jointly with other trustees where the member has an interest as a beneficiary of the trust.

(4) Sub-paragraph (1) does not apply to an interest in shares which forms part of the assets of a partnership and any income from that partnership is, or forms part of, remuneration registered under paragraph 2 of this Schedule.

(5) Where a member has ceased to have an interest in shares before the date on which the member was returned as a member, the relevant date is the date when the interest in such shares ceased to be so held.

(6) Where a member had an interest in shares at the date on which the member was returned as a member, the relevant date is—

(a) that date; and

(b) the 5th April immediately following that date and in each succeeding year, where the interest is retained on that 5th April.

(7) Where a member acquires an interest in shares after thedate on which the member was returned as a member, the relevant date is—

(a) the date on which the interest in shares was acquired; and

(b) the 5th April immediately following that date and in each succeeding year, where the interest is retained on that 5th April.

(8) In this paragraph—

(a) an “interest in shares” means an interest in shares comprised in the share capital of a company or other body; and

(b) “relevant person” is a person who is subject to the control or direction of a member in respect of an interest in shares.

Modification

10 (1) The Parliament may, by resolution, make any modifications of this Schedule which the Parliament considers necessary or expedient.

(2) Immediately after any such resolution is passed, the Clerk shall send a copy of it to the Queen's Printer for Scotland; and Articles 5, 7(1), 8 and 9 of the Scotland Act 1998 (Transitional and Transitory Provisions) (Statutory Instruments) Order 1999 (SI 1999/1096) shall apply to it as if it were a Scottish statutory instrument.

Proposed amended Schedule to the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006 (keeling Schedule)

Registrable financial interests

1 A member has, or had, a registrable financial interest in the circumstances set out in the following paragraphs.

Remuneration and Related undertaking

2 (A1) Where the circumstances are as described in sub-paragraph (1) or (1A).

(1) Where a member receives, or has received, remuneration by virtue of—

(a) being employed;

(b) being self-employed;

(c) being the holder of an office;

(d) being a director of an undertaking;

(e) being a partner in a firm; or

(f) undertaking a trade, profession or vocation.

(1A) Where a member is, or was—

(a) a director in a related undertaking; or

(b) a partner in a firm,

but does, or did, not receive remuneration by virtue of being such a director or partner.

(2) A member does not fall within sub-paragraph (1) solely by virtue of being, or of having been, a member, a member of the Scottish Executive or a junior Scottish Minister or holding or having held the office of Presiding Officer, deputy Presiding Officer or member of the Parliamentary corporation or of Convener, deputy Convener or member of a Committee of the Parliament.

(3) Sub-paragraph (1) does not apply where the remuneration received from a person on a single, or on more than one, occasion during the current parliamentary session consists solely of expenses unless those expenses amount, or amount in aggregate, to more than the specified limit.

(4)The exception in sub-paragraph (3) applies even although the remuneration received from that person on another occasion, or on other occasions, during that session does not consist solely of expenses.

(5) In this paragraph–

“current parliamentary session” means the parliamentary session which begins immediately after, or in which, the member is returned;

“a related undertaking” is a parent or subsidiary undertaking of an undertaking of which the member is a director and receives remuneration as a director as mentioned in sub-paragraph (1)(d); and

“specified limit” means 1% of a member’s salary (rounded down to the nearest £10) at the beginning of the current parliamentary session.

3 [Deleted]

4 [Deleted]

5 [Deleted]

Gifts

6 (1) Where a member or a company in which the member has a controlling interest or a partnership of which the member is a partner, receives, or has received, a gift of heritable or moveable property or a gift of a benefit in kind and—

(a) in the case where the gift was received from a person on a single occasion, the value of that gift, at the date on which it was received, exceeds the specified limit; or

(b) in the case where gifts were received from that person on more than one occasion during the current parliamentary session, the aggregate value of those gifts, at the dates on which they were received, exceeds the specified limit and, in either case,

(c) that gift or those gifts meet the prejudice test.

(2) Sub-paragraph (1) does not apply to

(a) the costs of travel and subsistence in connection with the member's attendance at a conference or meeting where those costs are borne in whole or in part by—

(i) the organiser of that conference; or

(ii) one of the other parties attending that meeting,

as the case may be;

(b) any support (of any kind) provided by theservices of a volunteer which are provided in that volunteer’s own time and free of charge;or

(c) a donation (of any kind) which is intended by the donor to be used for the purpose of meeting

(i) any campaign expenditure incurred in connection with the member’s campaign for election to a party office;

(ii) the election expenses of the member in relation to the election at which that member was returned as a member of the Scottish Parliament; or

(iii) the election expenses of the member in relation to any UK parliamentary election at which that member stands as a candidate,

but this exemption ceases to apply if the donation is not used for its intended purpose by the expiry of the 35th day after the election result is declared.

(3) For the purposes of this paragraph:-

“candidate” has the same meaning as in section 118A, as read with section 90ZA(5) of the Representation of the People Act 1983;

“campaign expenditure” includes expenditure incurred, whether before or after the member’s candidacy for election to the party office is announced or after the date on which the result of that election is declared, which can reasonably be described as being for the purposes of that campaign ;

“controlling interest” means, in relation to a company, shares carrying in the aggregate more than half of the voting rights exercisable at general meetings of the company;

“current parliamentary session” means the parliamentary session which begins immediately after, or in which, the member is returned;

“election expenses”, in relation to a member, has the same meaning for the purposes of

(i) sub-paragraph (2)(c) (ii) as “election expenses” has in relation to a candidate in the order under section 12 of the 1998 Act which is in force for the purposes of the election at which the member was returned; and

(ii) sub-paragraph (2)(c)(iii) as “election expenses” has in section 90ZA of the Representation of the People Act 1983;

“party office” means an office in a registered political party with which that member is connected;

“registered political party” means a political party registered under Part II of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 and a member is “connected with” a registered political party if the member was returned at the election after contesting it as a candidate (whether for return as a constituency member or as a regional member) of that party; and

“specified limit” means 1% of a member’s salary (rounded down to the nearest £10) at the beginning of the current parliamentary session.

Overseas visits

7 (1) Where a member makes, or has made, a visit outside the United Kingdom and that visit meets the prejudice test.

(2) Sub-paragraph (1) does not apply to a visit, the travel and other costs of which—

(a) are wholly met—

(i) by the member;

(ii) by the member's spouse, civil partner or cohabitant;

(iii) by the member's mother, father, son or daughter;

(iv) by the Parliamentary corporation; or

(v) out of the Scottish Consolidated Fund; or

(b) were approved prior to the visit by the Parliamentary corporation.

Heritable property

8 (1) Where a member owns or holds, or has owned or held, any heritable property and sub-paragraph (2) applies.

(2) This sub-paragraph applies where either—

(a) the market value of the heritable property, at the relevant date, exceeds the specified limit; or

(b) any income is receivedfrom the heritable property during the twelve months prior to the relevant date.

(3) Sub-paragraph (1) applies to heritable property which a member owns or holds, or has owned or held—

(a) solely in the member’sname;

(b) jointly with any other person or body; or

(c) as a trustee, whether or not jointly with other trustees, where the member has an interest as a beneficiary of the trust.

(4) Sub-paragraph (1) does not apply to heritable property—

(a) which is used as a residential home by the member or the member's spouse, civil partner or cohabitant;

(b) which was used as a residential home by the member or the member's spouse, civil partner or cohabitant but which, for a period of not more than 12 months, is or was unoccupied and for sale; or

(c) which forms part of the assets of a partnership and any income from that partnership is, or forms part of, the remuneration registered under paragraph 2 of this Schedule.

(5) Where a member has ceased to own or hold any heritable property before the date on which the member was returned as a member, the relevant date is the date when the heritable property ceased to be so owned or held.

(6) Where a member owned or held any heritable property at the date on which the member was returned as a member, the relevant date is—

(a) that date; and

(b) the 5th April immediately following that date and in each succeeding year, where the heritable property continues to be so owned or held on that 5th April.

(7) Where a member becomes the owner of or acquires any heritable property after the date on which that member was returned as a member, the relevant date is—

(a) the date on which the member became the owner of or acquired that heritable property; and

(b) the 5th April immediately following that date and in each succeeding year, where the heritable property continues to be so owned or held on that 5th April

(8)In this paragraph –

“current parliamentary session” means the parliamentary session which begins immediately after, or in which, the member is returned; and

“specified limit” means 50% of a member’s salary (rounded down to the nearest £10) at the beginning of the current parliamentary session.

Interest in shares

9 (1) Where a member has, or had, an interest in shares, whether that interest is, or was, held by the member or by a relevant person, and sub-paragraph (2) applies.

(2) This sub-paragraph applies where either—

(a) the nominal value of the shares at the relevant date is, or was, greater than 1% of the total nominal value of the issued share capital of the company or other body; or

(b) the market value of the shares at the relevant date exceeds, or exceeded, the specified limit.

(3) Sub-paragraph (1) appliesto an interest in shares, whether that interest is, or was, held by a member (or a relevant person)—

(a) solely inthe name of the member (or relevant person) ;

(b) jointly with any other person or body; or

(c) as a trustee, whether or not jointly with other trustees where the member has an interest as a beneficiary of the trust.

(4) Sub-paragraph (1) does not apply to an interest in shares which forms part of the assets of a partnership and any income from that partnership is, or forms part of, remuneration registered under paragraph 2 of this Schedule.

(5) Where a member has ceased to have an interest in shares before the date on which the member was returned as a member, the relevant date is the date when the interest in such shares ceased to be so held.

(6) Where a member had an interest in shares at the date on which the member was returned as a member, the relevant date is—

(a) that date; and

(b) the 5th April immediately following that date and in each succeeding year, where the interest is retained on that 5th April.

(7) Where a member acquires an interest in shares after the date on which the member was returned as a member, the relevant date is—

(a) the date on which the interest in shares was acquired; and

(b) the 5th April immediately following that date and in each succeeding year, where the interest is retained on that 5th April.

(8) In this paragraph—

“current parliamentary session” means the parliamentary session which begins immediately after, or in which, the member is returned;

an “interest in shares” means an interest in shares comprised in the share capital of a company or other body;

“relevant person” is a person who is subject to the control or direction of a member in respect of an interest in shares;

“specified limit” means 50% of a member’s salary (rounded down to the nearest eginning of the current parliamentary session.

Modification

10 (1) The Parliament may, by resolution, make any modifications of this Schedule which the Parliament considers necessary or expedient.

(2) Immediately after any such resolution is passed, the Clerk shall send a copy of it to the Queen's Printer for Scotland; and Articles 5, 7(1), 8 and 9 of the Scotland Act 1998 (Transitional and Transitory Provisions) (Statutory Instruments) Order 1999 (SI 1999/1096) shall apply to it as if it were a Scottish statutory instrument.

Annexe D: REVISIONS TO THE CODE OF CONDUCT (253KB)

ANNEXE E: DETERMINATIONS MADE UNDER THE 2006 ACT AND DRAFT RESOLUTIONS

THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT

The Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006 (Form and Content of Written Statement) Determination 2011

The Scottish Parliament, in exercise of the powers conferred by sections 4(1) and 4(2) of the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006, on the xxth day of xx 2011 made the following Determination. This replaces the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006 (Form and Content of Written Statement) Determination 2007:

Citation and commencement

1. This Determination may be cited as the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006 (Form and Content of Written Statement) Determination 2011 and shall have effect from xx.

Interpretation

2. In this Determination—

“the Act” means the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament

Act 2006(4);

“the Code of Conduct” means the Code of Conduct for Members of the Scottish Parliament, 5th Edition, [ ] 2011; and

“written statement” means the written statement which members are required to lodge under sections 3(3), 5(2) or 6(2) of the Act or may lodge under section 7 of the Act.

Form of written statement

3. A written statement shall be in the form set out in the Annexe to this Determination.

Content of written statement

4. A written statement shall contain the information required in the form set out in the Annexe and for the purposes of registration includes only those parts of the statement completed by a member.

ANNEXE

REGISTER OF INTERESTS OF MEMBERS OF THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT

WRITTEN STATEMENT OF INTERESTS

PLEASE NOTE: Statements (including nil returns) must be returned to the Standards Clerks—

a. In the case of initial registration by members (section 3) no later than 30 days after you take the oath of allegiance or make the solemn affirmation. As the thirtieth day falls on a Sunday, statements should be returned to the Standards Clerks by Friday 10 June 2011;

b. In the case of interests acquired by members after the date of return (section 5) within 30 days of the date you acquired the interest;

c. In the case of Scottish Law Officers (section 18) in accordance with that section; and

d. In the case of late registrations (section 7) within 7 days of becoming aware the interest ought to have been registered.

NAME:  
CONSTITUENCY / REGION:  

1. The Register of Members Interests

The Act requires a Member to register any registrable interests or to declare that the Member has no such interest. You must register any interest by lodging a written statement with the Clerk. Written statements lodged by you form the basis of your entry in the Register of Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament (‘the Register’).

Under section 11(3) of the Act, the Register must be made available for public inspection. It will be available at the office of the Standards Clerks (Tower 4, Room TG.01). A copy will be available in the public reception to the Parliament and an electronic version will also appear on the Scottish Parliament’s website.

Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the requirements of the Act and the Code of Conduct. Any Member who takes part in any proceedings of the Parliament without having complied with, or in contravention of, sections 3, 5, 6, 13, 14, 15 or 16 of the Act is guilty of a criminal offence. The maximum penalty for an offence under this Act, as specified in section 39(7) of the Scotland Act, is a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

Failure to comply with the requirements of the Act may also (in terms of sections 15 and 16) result in a Member being prevented, restricted or excluded from participation in proceedings of the Parliament.

Amongst other things the Code of Conduct provides detailed information on how to comply with the Act, including the criteria for registration under each of the categories of registrable interest (Volume 2, Section 2); the requirements to update your register throughout the Parliamentary session (Volume 2, Section 1); and how to declare your interests in advance of taking part in Parliamentary proceedings (Volume 2, Section 3).

The Schedule to the Act, which sets out the categories of registrable interest, was amended by resolution of Parliament at the end of Session 3. This included a reduction in the number of registrable categories from eight to five, in part through amalgamation of categories. Section 2 of the Code was re-drafted to reflect these amendments. Therefore, those members who have been members in previous Parliamentary sessions should familiarise themselves with the changes to the Act and the Code.

2. Registration requirements under the Act

Interests to be registered

The interests that require to be registered are those set out in the Schedule to the Act which you—

(1) had at the date you were returned; or

(2) had before you were returned but no longer have, where the interest meets the prejudice test (section 3(2)); or

(3) have acquired since the date you were returned.

“Prejudice test” an interest meets the prejudice test if, after taking into account all of the circumstances, that interest is reasonably considered to prejudice, or give the appearance of prejudicing the ability of the member to participate in a disinterested manner in any proceedings of the Parliament.

The Parliament has determined what information you must provide but you may provide additional details for your entry if you wish.

Declaration that no registrable interests are held (section 3)

If you have no registrable interests you are still required to make a written declaration to that effect by completing and lodging this form.

Late registration (section 6)

If, after submitting your statement, you become aware of a registrable interest which was not included, you should immediately contact the Standards Clerks. The Act requires you to lodge a further written statement registering that interest within 7 days of becoming aware of it. If you have in the meantime taken part in proceedings of the Parliament, you should be aware that you may already have committed a criminal offence and could also become subject to parliamentary sanctions.

Further, if you lodge a statement 7 days or more after becoming aware of the unregistered interest you may have committed a further offence and may become subject to further Parliamentary sanctions.

3. Completion and submission of the written statement

The written statement is split into 6 categories—

Remuneration and Related Undertaking

Gifts

Overseas Visits

Heritable Property

Interest in Shares

Voluntary

For each category of interest, you are asked to indicate whether you have an interest in the relevant category followed by a series of questions regarding the specific information that should be provided for that category. Any part of the form that you are required to complete has been shaded in grey.

Please go through the statement, in conjunction with the Act and the Code of Conduct, and complete each grey-shaded section as appropriate before signing and dating where indicated on page x. If there is not enough space in any section of this form additional sheets may be attached, but each sheet should be clearly marked with your name and also signed and dated.

Once you have completed the statement, and any additional sheets as necessary, the document should be sent to the Standards Clerks in Room TG.01.

Upon receipt of the completed statement, the Standards Clerks will draft a Register of Interests for each member. Each member will be sent a copy of their Register of Interests. Under the terms of the Act , the Register of Interests will be published on Friday 8 July 2011

4. Who to contact for further information

Further advice and assistance on any matter relating to this statement can be obtained from the Standards Clerks (ext. 85239 or e-mail standards.clerks@scottish.parliament.uk).

Members are advised to seek advice from the Standards Clerks if they are uncertain about whether an interest is registrable, or about which category an interest should be registered in. Members may also choose to consult their own legal or other advisers. If you are in any doubt about whether or not to register an interest, the guiding principle is to err on the side of caution.

REMUNERATION AND RELATED UNDERTAKING

For details of what constitutes a registrable interest under the remuneration and related undertaking category and details of exemptions to the requirement to register please refer to the Schedule to the Act and to the Code of Conduct , in particular 2.2, Section 2 of Volume 2.

Notes

The following are not registrable under this category—

a.Remuneration received solely by virtue of being an MSP (i.e. MSPs’ salary and allowances) and remuneration received solely by virtue of being a Minister of the Scottish Government, Presiding Officer, deputy Presiding Officer, member of the Parliamentary corporation or convener, deputy convener or member of a committee of the Parliament.

b.Remuneration received from one source on a single or more than one occasion during this parliamentary session which consist solely of expenses amounting to no more than 1% of a member’s gross salary at the start of this parliamentary session.

REMUNERATION

Do you receive remuneration by virtue of: Yes No
a) being employed    
b) being self-employed    
c) being the holder of any office    
d) being the director of an undertaking    
e) being a partner in a firm    
f) undertaking a trade, profession or vocation?    

If you answered yes, then please answer the following questions for each interest:

1. Into which category (a-f) does this interest fall?  
2. What is the name of the employer, business, body, undertaking or firm or name under which the trade, profession of vocation is carried out?  

3. What is the:

a) principal business address of, and

b) nature of the business, activities or work carried out bythe person or organisation named in 2 above?

 
4. What position do you hold?  
5. What level of remuneration do you receive or expect to receive per annum within the following bands:
up to £500
between £501 – £1,000
between £1,001 – £2,000

between £2,001 – £3,000

between £3,001 – £5,000

and there after in intervals of £5,000?
 
6. What is the regularity of the work you undertake (for example, the number of hours or days worked per week or month)?  
7. Is there any relevant additional information that you wish to provide?  

RELATED UNDERTAKING

Are you:  Yes No
a) a director of a related undertaking but do not receive remuneration as such a director?    
b) a partner in a firm but do not receive remuneration as such a partner    

If you answered yes, then please provide the following information for each interest:

1. Into which category (a or b) does this interest fall?  
2. What is the name of the related undertaking or firm?  
3. What is the:

a) principal business address of, and


b) nature of the business carried out by
the related undertaking or firm?
 
4. What is the nature of the relationship between related undertakings?  
5. Is there any relevant additional information that you wish to provide?  

GIFTS

For details of what constitutes a registrable interest under the gifts category and details of exemptions to the requirement to register please refer to the Schedule to the Act and to the Code of Conduct , in particular 2.3, Section 2 of Volume 2.

Notes

Please note that if a member receives a number of gifts from a single source each of which is below the registrable value (insert amount) but which cumulatively exceed it, the gifts are registrable if the prejudice test is met.

The following are not registrable under this category—

a.Support provided by a volunteer in that person’s own time and free of charge

b. Donations towards expenses for election to party office, the Scottish Parliament or to the UK Parliament are not registrable. However, any donations which are unspent on the election in question by the expiry of the 35th day after the election result is declared (the same timeframe that is allowed for lodging election returns) must be registered if they exceed the gifts threshold and meet the prejudice test.

c.The costs of travel and subsistence in connection with attendance at a conference or meeting if those costs are borne in whole or in part by the organiser of the conference or by one of the other parties attending the meeting.

 

Yes No
Have you or a company in which you have a controlling interest or a partnership of which you are a partner, received:

a) a gift of heritable or moveable property; or

b) a gift of a benefit in kind;
the value of which, at the date on which it was received exceeded 1% of a Member’s gross salary at the start of this parliamentary session (insert amount)?

And


Does that interest meet the prejudice test (as set out in section 3(2) of the Act)?
   

If you answered yes, then please answer the following questions for each interest:

1. Into which category (a or b) does this interest fall?  
2. On what date or dates did you receive the gift?  
3. What is the name of the donor of the gift?  
4. What is the:

a) principal business address of, and

b) nature of the business, activities or work carried out by


the employer etc. named in 3 above?
(Note: This information does not need to be provided if the donor of the gift is a private individual)
 
5. Was the gift to you as an individual or to a company or partnership?  

6. What is the monetary value of the gift, within the following bands:

between £501 – £1,000


between £1,001 – £2,000

between £2,001 – £3,000

between £3,001 – £5,000

and thereafter in intervals of £5,000?

 
7. Is there any relevant additional information that you wish to provide?  

OVERSEAS VISITS

For details of what constitutes a registrable interest under the overseas visits category and details of exemptions to the requirement to register please refer to the Schedule to the Act and to the Code of Conduct , in particular 2.4, Section 2 of Volume 2.

Notes

Overseas visits the costs of which were met wholly by the member or certain family members, or which were approved in advance by the SPCB, are not registrable under this category. However Members should note that committee travel outwith the UK may fall to be registered in this category. Members are advised to seek advice from the relevant committee clerk regarding prior approval by the SPCB. Members may also consult the Standards Clerks for further advice on seeking SPCB approval for certain visits overseas.

 

Yes No
Have you made a visit outside the United Kingdom which meets the prejudice test?    

If you answered yes, then please answer the following questions for each interest:

1. On or between which date(s) did the visit take place?  
2. What was:

a) the destination, and


b) the purpose of the visit?
 
3. What is the name of the person or organisation who met any of the costs of the visit?  
4. What is the:

a) principal business address of, and


b) nature of the business, activities or work carried out by


the person or organisation named in 3 above?


(Note: This information does not need to be provided if the donor of the gift is a private individual)
 
5. What were the costs of the visit?  
6. Is there any relevant additional information that you wish to provide?  

HERITABLE PROPERTY

For details of what constitutes a registrable interest under the heritable property category and details of exemptions to the requirement to register please refer to the Schedule to the Act and to the Code of Conductin particular 2.5, Section 2 of Volume 2.

Notes

The relevant date referred to below is the date that the member is returned (and each following 5th April) or for property acquired after the date of return the date of acquisition (and each following 5th April) or for property disposed of before the member is returned the date of disposal, as the case may be.

The following are not registrable under this category—

Heritable property used as a residential home by you, your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant.

Heritable property which was used as a residential home by you, your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant but which, for a period of not more than 12 months, is or was unoccupied and for sale.

Heritable property which forms part of the assets of a partnership and any income from that partnership is, or forms part of, the remuneration registered under the remuneration and related undertaking category.

 

Yes No

Do you own or hold heritable property:

a) the market value of which, at the relevant date, exceeds 50% of a member’s gross salary at the start of this Parliamentary session (insert amount); or

b) from which you have received rental income during the period of twelve months prior to the relevant date?

   

If you answered yes, then please answer the following questions for each interest:

1. Into which category (a, b or both) does this interest fall?  
2. What is the location of the property (by area, for example by local authority area if in Scotland)?  
3. What is the type of the property (for example, flat, house, commercial, industrial, domestic, commercial, agricultural)?  
4. On what date did you acquire the property (if after the date of your return in this parliamentary session) or dispose of the property (if before the date of your return)?  
5. What is/was the market value of the property at the relevant date within the following bands:

up to £50,000

between £50,001 – £100,000

between £100,001 – £150,000

between £150,001 – £200,000

between £200,001 – £250,000

between £250,001 – £300,000

and thereafter in intervals of £100,000?
 
6. What is/was the gross income from the property at the relevant date within the following bands:

up to £5,000


between £5,001 – £10,000


between £10,001 – £15,000

between £15,001 – £20,000

between £20,001 – £25,000

between £25,001 – £30,000

and thereafter in intervals of £10,000?
 
7. Is there any relevant additional information that you wish to provide?  

INTEREST IN SHARES

For details of what constitutes a registrable interest under the interest in shares category and details of exemptions to the requirement to register please refer to the Schedule to the Act and to the Code of Conduct , in particular 2.6, Section 2 of Volume 2.

Notes

The relevant date referred to below is the date that the member is returned (and each following 5th April) or for interests acquired after the date of return the date of acquisition (and each following 5th April) or for interests disposed of before the member is returned the date of disposal as the case may be.

An interest in shares which forms part of the assets of a partnership and any income from that partnership is, or forms part of, remuneration registered under the remuneration and related undertaking category, is not registrable under this category.

 

Yes No

Do you or a relevant person have an interest in shares and:

a) the nominal value of the shares at the relevant date is greater than 1% of the issued share capital of the company or other body (insert amount);

Or


b) the market value of the shares at the relevant date exceeds or exceeded 50% of a Member’s gross salary at the start of this Parliamentary session (insert amount)?

   

If you answered yes, then please answer the following questions for each interest:

1. Into which category (a, b or both) does this interest fall?  
2. What is the name of the company or other body (as described when you acquired the interest)?  
3. What type of shares do you own?  
4. On what date did you acquire the shares (if after the date of your return in this parliamentary session) or dispose of the property (if before the date of your return)?  
5. What is the nature of the business undertaken by the company or other body in which you hold shares?  
6. What is the market value and/or percentage of the issued share capital of the company or other body?  
7. Is there any relevant additional information that you wish to provide?  

VOLUNTARY

You may choose to provide details in this section of any interest, not falling within any of the previous sections, which you wish to register, perhaps because you consider that the interest might be thought by others to influence your actions.

 

Yes No
Do you have any such interests?    

If you answered yes, please insert details below:

Signed

 

Date

 

Proposed removal of the determination on heritable property

The Schedule currently states that registration of heritable property is required where “the gross income from the heritable property from the period of twelve months prior to the relevant date is greater than such amount as the Parliament may determine.” (paragraph 8.2.b) The determination stemming from this paragraph sets the amount at zero.

Retaining the current wording in the Schedule allows Parliament additional flexibility to vary this sum, as opposed to prescribing the relevant amount within the body of the Schedule. However, the Committee does not consider that this additional flexibility is required, given there has been no impetus to amend this amount in advance of or during the course of the Committee’s inquiry. Furthermore, the Parliament already has the power to vary the Schedule by resolution, so amending the Schedule to include the relevant amount would remove the requirement for the separate determination and make the Schedule provision clearer. Relevant amounts under other categories are detailed in this way in the Schedule.

DRAFT RESOLUTIONS

Amendments to Schedule to the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006, associated Determinations and Code of Conduct – resolutions

Schedule—

That the Parliament, considering that it is expedient to make certain modifications to the Schedule to the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006 (asp 12), in exercise of the powers conferred by paragraph 10(1) of that Schedule-

  • makes the modifications to that Schedule which are contained in the Annex to this resolution; and

  • provides that those modifications shall come into force on the date after the date of the first dissolution of the Parliament following the date on which this resolution is passed.

[These modifications are detailed in Annexe C of this report]

Determinations—

That the Parliament, in exercise of the powers conferred by sections 4(1) and 4(2) of the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006 (asp 12)-

  • makes the Determination which is contained in the Annex to this resolution;

  • revokes the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006 (Form and Content of Written Statement) Determination 2007 with effect from the date after the date of the first dissolution of the Parliament following the date on which this resolution is passed; and

  • revokes the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006 (Gross Income from Heritable Property) Determination 2007 with effect from the date after the date of the first dissolution of the Parliament following the date on which this resolution is passed.

[These modifications are detailed in Annexe E of the report]

Code of Conduct—

That the Parliament agrees to amend the Code of Conduct for Members of the Scottish Parliament by replacing Volumes 1 and 2 with Volumes 1 and 2 as set out in Annex D of the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee's 9th Report 2010 (Session 3), Revisions to the Code of Conduct for Members of the Scottish Parliament, with effect from the date after the date of the first dissolution of the Parliament following the date on which this resolution is passed.

[These modifications are detailed in Annexe D of this report]


1 2006 Act, Schedule, paragraph 10(1)

2 Scottish Parliament Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee. 6th Report, 2008 (Session 3).Complaint against Wendy Alexander MSP (SPP 142)

3 Which includes cumulative donations from the same source amounting to more than £1500, although individual donations of not more than £500 are excluded from the reporting requirements altogether and not taken into account in the cumulative value (2000 Act, Schedule 7, paragraphs 4 and 10)

4 2006 asp 12