A north-east councillor is to face an ethics hearing after being accused of failing to register her interests as a member of an influential steering group.
Councillor Anne Allan, who represents the Peterhead North and Rattray ward, is said to have failed to register her non-financial membership of the Rediscover Peterhead Business Improvement District (BID) Steering group.
The Standards Commission for Scotland (SCS) will hold a public meeting in Aberdeen on August 28 to consider the complaint, which alleges Ms Allan was a member of the group during 2016 and 2017, prior to, during and after the Peterhead BID ballot.
Her membership of the group and support of a “yes” vote had been prominent in the ballot material.
The complaint continues that the BID process was a matter of public interest due to the use of public funds and the public ballot of the business community, therefore she should have declared her membership.
The case was referred to the SCS by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland.
Convener of the SCS Professor Kevin Dunion said: “The Councillors’ Code of Conduct clearly states that councillors may have significant non-financial interests, which must be registered and described.
“This can include membership of, or holding office in, public bodies, companies, clubs or organisations such as trade unions.
“The test to be applied is whether members of the public would reasonably think that such an interest could influence the councillor’s actions or decision-making in the council. If so, the interest should be registered.
“The requirement to register certain interests is a fundamental part of the Code of Conduct as it provides transparency and helps maintain the public’s confidence that a councillor’s personal interests will not influence their discussions and decision-making.”
If the SCS determines that Ms Allan breached the code, it will decide whether to impose a sanction of censure, suspension or disqualification.
Ms Allan did not respond to requests for comment.