About PQs, Answers and Motions

Parliamentary questions

Parliamentary questions can be asked by any MSP to the Scottish Government/Executive or the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body. The questions provide a means for MSPs to obtain factual and statistical information from the Scottish Government or the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body.

Parliamentary questions can be in oral or written form. Oral questions are answered at Question Time and First Minister’s Question Time. In exceptional circumstances emergency question can be taken in the Chamber.

Written Questions are answered in the Written Answers Report.

Under Rule 13.5.2 of Standing Orders, written parliamentary questions must be answered within 10 working days (20 working days during recess). The parliamentary questions search has recently been upgraded so that it is possible to search for questions that have been lodged but have not received an answer.

Full details of all questions lodged can be found in the Business Bulletin


Motions are used by MSPs as a device to initiate debate or propose a course of action.

Motions can be lodged for debate in Parliament as part of parliamentary business, for debate as part of Members’ Business, to propose that legislation is agreed to or passed or simply to generate support. Other MSPs can sign up in support of motions that have been lodged.

Amendments to motions are also lodged by MSPs to allow alternative points of view to be discussed and debated.

The Motions Search allows you to search for motions which have been lodged. You can do this by MSP, the motion ID number or a general subject search.

Fact Sheets

Fact Sheets are produced by information specialists with the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe).  They provide factual information about parliamentary business.

Fact Sheets

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