The Senedd Commissioner for Standards is an independent and impartial provider of advice on any matter of principle relating to conduct of Members of the Senedd, and is an independent investigator of complaints alleging that Members of the Senedd have breached any Code, Protocol or resolution of the Senedd.
Following an open competition Douglas Bain took office as the Senedd Commissioner for Standards on 1 April 2021.
Douglas was called to the Scottish Bar in 1974. After a period in private practice he served as a Procurator Fiscal Depute specialising in the investigation of serious and complex fraud and corruption.
In 1988 he moved to Northern Ireland where he held a number of senior appointments in the criminal justice field. Following his retirement from the civil service Douglas was the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland from 2006 to 2010. From 2010 to 2013 he was a member of the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland. He was the first Northern Ireland Assembly Commissioner for Standards from 2012 to 2017. During the same period he was the Appointed Person for the whole of the United Kingdom under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
In 2018, the National Assembly for Wales appointed Douglas as Acting Commissioner to deal with complaints relating to one Member. In November 2019, following the resignation of Sir Roderick Evans as Standards Commissioner, Douglas was again appointed as Acting Standards Commissioner. He continued in that role until his appointment as the Commissioner.
Douglas was appointed CBE in 2010 for services to the Northern Ireland Prison Service. He holds the Territorial Decoration with bar. He lives with his wife in County Down.
About the Standards Commissioner
The main duties of the Commissioner are to:
- receive any complaint that the conduct of a Member of the Senedd has, at a relevant time, failed to comply with a requirement of a relevant provision;
- investigate any such complaint in accordance with the laid down procedures;
- report to the Senedd the outcome of any such investigation; and
- advise Members of the Senedd and members of the public about the procedures for making and investigating complaints.
Further to the above, the Commissioner may also give advice to the Senedd on:
- any matter of general principle relating to relevant provisions or to standards of conduct of Members of the Senedd generally;
- procedures for investigating complaints that Members of the Senedd have failed to comply with the requirements of relevant provisions; or
- any other matter relating to promoting, encouraging and safeguarding high standards of conduct in the public office of Member of the Senedd.
In the interests of openness and transparency the Commissioner has decided to disclose his interests under broadly the same categories as is required of Members. The information given is as at 1 April 2021 and will be updated whenever any significant change occurs. – Commissioners Interests