The Commission - functions and appointments
The Boundary Commission for Scotland is responsible for reviews of:
- UK Parliament constituencies in Scotland; and
- Scottish Parliament constituencies and regions.
We are an Advisory Non-departmental Public Body sponsored and wholly funded by the Scotland Office. We are independent and non-political. Our constitution, duties and powers are detailed in the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986, and in Schedule 1 to the Scotland Act 1998. Full details of the legislation surrounding our work are available on the Legislation page of this website.
Our Chairman is the Speaker of the House of Commons, although the Speaker takes no part in our proceedings. Our work is led by the Deputy Chairman who is a Court of Session judge appointed by the Lord President of the Court of Session. The 2 other members are appointed by the Secretary of State for Scotland through a public appointments process. In addition, the Director General of Ordnance Survey and the Registrar General for Scotland help us as ex-officio Assessors.
We are supported in our work by a small Secretariat.
Appointments to the Boundary Commission for Scotland are made under Schedule 1 to the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986. The Act specifies that our ex-officio Chair is the Speaker of the House of Commons, as is the case for the parliamentary boundary commissions in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Our Deputy Chairman is a judicial appointment made by the Lord President of the Court of Session. This post is unpaid.
The two other Commissioners are appointed by the Secretary of State for Scotland, following procedures approved by the Commissioner for Public Appointments, for a period of 4 years, with the possibility of renewal. These posts receive a daily fee, plus expenses. It is usual for vacant posts to be advertised in the national press and be subject to a process of selection and interview by a panel including the Deputy Chairman, a representative of the Scotland Office and a representative of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. The final appointment is made by the Secretary of State for Scotland.