The system that allows highly paid council chief executives to receive extra payouts for acting as returning officers during elections is to be probed by MSPs.
Holyrood’s Local Government and Communities Committee said it would examine whether the payments, which have amounted to £1 million in the past two years, are still appropriate.
There have been calls for a review of the system, with the Electoral Reform Society Scotland warning the public would find the sums involved “quite remarkable”.
The duty of returning officers is to ensure the smooth running of elections and referendums. The role is usually taken on by council chief executives on top of their normal workload.
Committee convener Bob Doris MSP said: “Understandably there is public concern around additional payments – reportedly worth £1 million in the last two years – being made to already well-paid office holders.
“The level of payment varies for different elections and different councils, and we’re also aware some returning officers claim their payment, while others share payments with their staff.
“We want to find out more about how these payments operate, what their uptake is, and whether they remain appropriate.”
The committee will take evidence in November from experts in electoral law as well as the Electoral Reform Society, trade unions, academics and returning officers.