The First Minister did not breach the Scottish Ministerial Code with his stance on legal advice over an independent Scotland's future in Europe, a report has found.
Independent adviser Sir David Bell was tasked with investigating claims that Alex Salmond broke the code of conduct following a complaint by Labour MEP Catherine Stihler.
Sir David has now reported that Mr Salmond acted in accordance with the code, but he has requested that the Scottish Government considers revising parts of the code which relate to legal advice.
He wrote: "I have not found you, or the Scottish Government, to have breached the Ministerial Code in respect of any complaints made by Ms Stihler. I have, though, recommended that the Scottish Government considers revising those parts of the code relating to legal advice."
Mr Salmond referred himself to an independent panel of advisers in October last year after a row erupted over the issue.
Earlier that month, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed in the chamber that the SNP administration had only recently commissioned specific advice on Scotland's position in the Europe.
The SNP has insisted that Scotland will automatically be accepted into the European Union (EU) in the event of independence.
Opposition politicians said the Government's apparent confidence on continued EU entry created the impression that advice already existed. They also pointed to comments made by Mr Salmond in an interview with the BBC's Andrew Neil where the First Minister appeared to suggest he had legal advice.
Sir David examined five separate grounds of complaint from Ms Stihler, and in each case he found that the First Minister and the Scottish Government had acted in accordance with the code.
Mr Salmond welcomed the report, and added: "Sir David recommends that the Scottish Government considers whether the section of its Ministerial Code relating to legal advice provided to ministers should be redrafted to make it clearer. That is a recommendation I am happy to accept and work will now be taken forward by Government officials with that aim in mind."