Liosta Briathrachais


daily business list

The agenda of business for the Parliament on a particular day, published in Section A of the Business Bulletin.


1 July 1999. The principal appointed day for the implementation of key provisions of the Scotland Act 1998.


Discussions by MSPs, usually based on a motion.

Debating Chamber

The place for meetings of the Parliament.

Decision Time

The period at the end of a day’s business in the Parliament when decisions are taken on most of the questions before it.

declarable interest

An interest which must be declared in relevant proceedings of the Parliament.

declaration of interests

See declarable interest.

delegated legislation

See subordinate legislation.

Department for Constitutional Affairs

The department responsible for the overall management of relations between the UK Government and the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. As a result of the changes announced by the Prime Minister on 12 June 2003, the Scotland Office is now part of the Department for Constitutional Affairs. More information on the work of the DCA in relation to devolution can be found on its website (

deputy convener

A member of a committee who can carry out the functions of that committee’s convener as required.

Deputy First Minister

A non-statutory term for the Cabinet Minister who is deputy to the First Minister.

Deputy Minister

A non-statutory term for a junior Scottish Minister appointed by the First Minister.

Deputy Presiding Officers (DPOs)

The Presiding Officer’s two deputies, who can also preside at the Parliament’s meetings and undertake other functions of the Presiding Officer. DPOs can participate in proceedings and can vote on the same basis as other MSPs when not chairing a meeting.


The process of decentralising the governance of Scotland, within the UK, from the central authorities (Westminster and Whitehall) to a Scottish Parliament and Executive. Similar schemes have been implemented for Northern Ireland and for Wales.

devolution guidance notes (DGNs)

A series of advice notes from the UK Government on, for example, how the UK and devolved administrations inter-relate.

devolution issues

The term used in schedule 6 to the Scotland Act 1998 to describe particular kinds of legal issues arising from devolution.

devolved competence

The remit of the Scottish Ministers, which, very broadly, is the same as the Parliament’s legislative competence.

devolved matters

Matters for which the Scottish Parliament and/or the Scottish Executive have responsibility.

disability allowance

Under the members' allowances scheme, an allowance up to a specified limit per session which can be awarded by the SPCB to an MSP whose ability to undertake his or her role is impaired by disability. It is to be used in any way the SPCB decides is helpful to the MSP in undertaking that role. The SPCB may also make an award under this allowance to a member to meet costs the member may incur making reasonable adjustments to his or her local office to accommodate an employee who has a disability. This may include funds to facilitate access for disabled members of the public; provide equipment or parking spaces for disabled people; facilitate meetings for disabled people by hiring alternative premises; and contrating sign language interpreters for meetings with members of the public.


The official term for the end of a session.


The means for deciding a question other than by consensus.

Document Supply Service

A service provided supplying MSPs, their staff and Parliament staff with copies of official documents they need for their parliamentary duties.


Standing orders provide for the laying before, and publication by the Parliament of any relevant document, defined as ‘anything in which information is recorded in any form’.

draft budget

Proposals presented by Scottish Ministers to the Parliament setting out detailed expenditure plans for the next financial year.

dual mandate

A term to describe those MSPs who are also members of Parliament.