Complaints made to the Commissioner for Standards

Information Standards Freedom of Information Response

Our Ref: FoI 31-20

28th July 2020

Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA)

I am writing in response to your request  of 21May 2020 made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. In your request you asked for the following information;

“Under the Freedom of Information Act, I would like to request details regarding complaints made to the Commissioner for Standards.

While I realise no commissioner has been in post since September 2017, I understand that secretarial functions have been retained, e.g. acknowledgement letters being sent out to people who have made complaints about MLAs in these intervening years.

In the continued absence of a commissioner, it is vastly in the public interest for some details of the complaints received to be disclosed.

Please provide the following for the period from September 2017 to present:

1. The total number of complaints submitted to the standards commissioner's office.

2. For each complaint, disclose if possible:

- The month and year the complaint was made

- The nature of the complaint, such as the section(s) of the code of conduct alleged to have been breached.”


The information requested is not held by the Northern Ireland Assembly under section 3(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 

The Northern Ireland Assembly Commissioner for Standards is a separate legal entity from the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The Northern Ireland Assembly Commission provides administrative support to the Commissioner for Standards as required by paragraph 3 of Schedule 4 to the Assembly Members (Independent Financial Review and Standards) Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.  

Requests for information held by the Commissioner for Standards should be directed to the Northern Ireland Assembly Commissioner for Standards. It is noted that this post is not presently filled. 



If you feel that the information we have provided does not meet your request fully, please contact this office as soon as possible.  You have the right to request a formal review by the Northern Ireland Assembly and if you wish to do so, please write to me at the above address.

If after such an internal review you are still unhappy with the response, you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, who will undertake an independent review.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.  Please remember to quote the reference number above.

Yours sincerely 


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