Payment to Returning Officers in Scotland


About the Inquiry

The Committee has agreed to undertake a short inquiry to explore the purpose and appropriateness of providing payments or fees to Returning Officers (principally Local Authority Chief Executives) in Scotland in relation to Local Government, Scottish and UK elections and referenda.

In addition to exploring publicly the reasons why the current arrangements exist, the Committee will reflect upon the evidence received before deciding on what steps to take next.

Written Submissions


The Committee has agreed to seek written and oral evidence from the following:

Wednesday 23 November:

  • Jonathon Shafi, Campaigns Organiser, Electoral Reform Society Scotland; Navraj Singh Ghaleigh, Senior Lecturer in Climate Law, University of Edinburgh; Dr Toby James, Senior Lecturer in British and Comparitive Politics, University of East Anglia.
  • Link to Official Report of meeting of 23 November

Wednesday 30 November:

  • Malcolm Burr, Chair, SOLACE Scotland; Mary Pitcaithly, Convener, Electoral Management Board for Scotland, Annemarie O'Donnell, Chief Executive, Glasgow City Council; Andy Hunter, Chair, Scotland and Northern Ireland Branch, Association of Electoral Administrators; Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance, Electoral Commission, Scotland.
  • Link to Official Report of meeting of 30 November


The Committee considered the Scottish Government's response to the Committee's report at its meeting on 26 April 2017 and agreed to write to the Scottish Government and the UK Government:

The Scottish Government responded to the Convener's letter on 31 May 2017:

The UK Government responded to the Convener's letter on 21 June 2017:


The Committee published its report on 24 January 2017:

The Scottish Government responded to the Committee's report on 9 March 2017: