The current Commissioner for Standards is Dr Melissa McCullough. Dr McCullough’s appointment was approved by the Assembly on Monday 7 September 2020.

The functions of the Commissioner are set out in section 17 of the Assembly Members (Independent Financial Review and Standards) Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 and may be summarised as follows –

  • to investigate complaints about the conduct of MLAs
  • to initiate an investigation if they believe that a breach of the Code of Conduct has occurred
  • to report to the Committee on Standards and Privileges on the outcome of such investigations
  • to give advice on any matter of general principle relating to the conduct of MLAs.

In carrying out their functions the Commissioner must comply with the provisions of the 2011 Act and of Directions to the Northern Ireland Assembly Commissioner for Standards given under section 24 of that Act.