At present, council CEOs all receive extra payments for this task and are not subject to Freedom of Information laws about how they spend their money on it.
“Senior council executives in Scotland should lose their system of multi-thousand pound payments for acting as returning officers at elections and referendums, according to MSPs.
A report from the Scottish Parliament’s local government committee found that the payments regime for overseeing the conduct and counting of elections, a role usually taken on by council chief executives, was insufficiently transparent, inconsistent, and little understood by the general public.
Bob Doris, the committee convener, said: “We believe that all costs associated with elections should be processed around the principles of openness and transparency if the public are to have confidence in how our elections are run.
“There is a lack of transparency around the value of these payments and how they are allocated,” Doris said.
“We heard that payments can range from £2,500 in Orkney and Shetland to over £16,000 in Edinburgh and may reportedly be worth as much £1m in total.” …”