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Section 1 — Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator
Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3
Mary Scanlon (Conservative)
I am happy to follow my committee colleagues and speak to the amendments, as have others, in a non-party political way. This has been a serious issue for the committee, and I seek further clarification from the minister on amendments 27 and 45.
I, too, will be a bit of an anorak. The "Oxford English Dictionary" defines misconduct as:
"Improper or unacceptable conduct or behaviour."
It defines mismanage as:
"To manage badly or wrongly".
I am not sure that we have the solution to the problem today.
Amendment 27 states:
"OSCR's power to suspend a person by giving notice under subsection (4)(a) or (b) does not apply if OSCR considers that the person has acted honestly and reasonably in relation to the misconduct".
How can someone honestly and reasonably indulge in unacceptable or improper behaviour? I find that difficult to understand. I understand that a person could act honestly, reasonably and innocently in relation to mismanagement, but could they act honestly and reasonably in relation to misconduct? The definition of misconduct does not sit fairly and squarely with honest and reasonable behaviour. Someone cannot honestly
If amendment 45 were agreed to, the bill would read, "'misconduct' includes mismanagement". Does that mean honest and reasonable misconduct or downright serious, unforgivable, unacceptable or improper behaviour? I have serious problems with the amendments. It seems that we would be making misconduct acceptable. Amendment 27 states that misconduct is acceptable, as it attaches the words "honestly" and "reasonably" to it.
I seek further clarification from the minister on the matter. I would like to support amendments 27 and 45 but, like Donald Gorrie, I may have to abstain on the issue.