Parliament to agree appointment of new Commissioner for Ethical Standards


On Thursday (5 December 2013), the Scottish Parliament will be asked to agree the appointment of Bill Thomson as the new Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland.

Subject to Parliament’s approval, Mr Thomson will replace the outgoing Commissioner, Stuart Allan, whose appointment comes to an end on 31 March 2014.

The Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland is an independent officeholder who is appointed by the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) with the agreement of the Scottish Parliament. 

The Commissioner is responsible for investigating complaints about the conduct of MSPs, local authority councillors and members of public bodies and regulating how people are appointed to the boards of public bodies in Scotland.

This is a full-time appointment for a fixed term of 5 years, with a salary of £73,000 per annum.  The Commissioner is based in Edinburgh.

Biographical information

Bill Thomson has 25 years’ experience in senior posts in the Scottish public sector, in local government law and administration and since 1999 in the Scottish Parliament, where he is currently an Assistant Chief Executive. 

He was an adviser to the Standards Committee in the Parliament’s early years and was involved in the reforms which led to the creation of the post of Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner in 2003. 

Mr Thomson previously worked in private legal practice and at the Scottish Law Commission.  He studied at the universities of Edinburgh and Amsterdam, and is a member of the Law Society of Scotland and of the Council of the Hansard Society.


Mr Thomson will resign from his current employment on 31 March 2014 and take up post on 1 April 2014.
More information on the role of the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland can be found at:

Ethical Standards website

Contact information

Media information

Public information

  • Telephone enquiry line: 0800 092 7500 or 0131 348 5395 (Gàidhlig)
  • Text 07786 209 888
  • Ask a question online through live chat
  • We also welcome calls using the Text Relay service or in British Sign Language through contactSCOTLAND-BSL

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