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Chamber and committees

Meeting of the Parliament [Draft]

Meeting date: Wednesday, March 1, 2023


Appointment of Members of the Standards Commission for Scotland

The Presiding Officer (Alison Johnstone)

The next item of business is consideration of motion S6M-08037, in the name of Maggie Chapman, on behalf of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, on the appointment of members of the Standards Commission for Scotland.


Maggie Chapman (North East Scotland) (Green)

I am pleased to speak to the motion in my name, as a member of the corporate body appointment panel, to invite members to agree to the appointment of Helen Donaldson and Anne-Marie O’Hara as members of the Standards Commission for Scotland.

The Standards Commission is part of the ethical standards framework in Scotland, and its role is to encourage high ethical standards in public life by promoting and enforcing the codes of conduct for councillors and members of devolved public bodies. It issues guidance to councils and public bodies and adjudicates on alleged contraventions of the codes that are referred to it by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland. The commission has a convener and four members, all of whom are part time.

After the usual recruitment process, we wish to nominate two people as members of the commission. Helen Donaldson has had a long and successful career in education, initially as an English teacher, then moving into more strategic roles in Aberdeenshire. As head of education and inclusion at Aberdeen City Council, she had wide-ranging responsibilities and worked closely with local councillors, outside agencies and officers from across the council.

Anne-Marie O’Hara recently retired from her post as chief executive officer of an Edinburgh-based charity and social enterprise that provides affordable space for the third sector. Ms O’Hara has worked in various property, charity and grant-giving roles. She was head of the capital team at the Big Lottery Fund, and led the property planning, projects and European funding team at the National Trust for Scotland.

I am sure that members wish Helen Donaldson and Anne-Marie O’Hara very well and every success in their new roles.

In closing, I thank the outgoing members: Mike McCormick, who demitted office on 31 January, and Tricia Stewart, who will demit office on 31 March. I wish them well for the future.

I move,

That the Parliament agrees, under section 8 of the Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000, to appoint Helen Donaldson and Anne-Marie O’Hara as Members of the Standards Commission for Scotland.

The question on the motion will be put at decision time.