The rules governing the reporting and investigation of sexual harassment complaints against MSPs are to be reviewed by Holyrood’s Standards Committee.
Announcing the inquiry’s remit, new committee convener Clare Haughey said there needs to be confidence in Holyrood’s code of conduct and complaints process.
The remit of the inquiry will be as follows:
- To conduct an examination of the rules, procedures and guidance governing the reporting, investigation and sanctioning of MSPs’ conduct with regard to sexual harassment at the Scottish Parliament.
- To consider the Code of Conduct for MSPs, and the context in which it operates, in order to deliver a reporting regime which inspires confidence in those affected by MSPs’ conduct that they will be taken seriously and treated fairly and that appropriate action will be taken if sexual harassment is found to have occurred, including sanctions.
- To examine political parliamentary parties approaches to the reporting and investigation of MSPs’ conduct with regard to sexual harassment at the Scottish Parliament with a view to making recommendations.
- To understand workplace cultural and societal factors that may be relevant to MSPs’ conduct with regard to sexual harassment and determine whether and what changes could be made to the Code of Conduct to address these.
Convener of the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee Clare Haughey MSP said:
“Our procedures need to make clear that complaints will be taken seriously and people will be treated fairly. Our review of the code of conduct will examine the culture here at Holyrood and seek to ensure there is confidence in our rules and procedures.”
A call for evidence will be agreed at the committee’s next meeting.