The remit of the Finance and Constitution Committee includes consideration of the financial implications of legislation through scrutiny of financial memoranda accompanying bills. Having considered the financial implications the Finance and Constitution Committee may then report its findings to the lead committee (which has responsibility for considering and reporting on the Bill in full).
All bills introduced to the Parliament must be accompanied by a Financial Memorandum (FM).
The FM must set out the best estimates of the costs and savings to which the legislation would give rise, best estimates of the timescales over which such costs or savings would be expected to arise, and an indication of the margins of uncertainty in such estimates. The FM must distinguish separately costs that would fall on -
(a) the Scottish Administration (i.e. the Government, in the broad sense of Ministers, departments and agencies);
(b) local authorities; and
(c) other bodies, individuals and businesses.
Current Consideration of Financial Memoranda
The Committee issues a call for written evidence for each FM to stakeholders for whom legislation may have a financial impact. After assessing the submissions the Committee will take one or more of the following courses of action—
- Take no further action other than to pass the submissions on to the lead committee for its consideration.
- Write to the lead Committee highlighting any areas of concern and suggesting that it may wish to raise them with the Scottish Government Minister responsible for the Bill.
- Invite stakeholders who have provided responses to expand upon their submissions in oral evidence.
- Invite Scottish Government officials to respond to the issues raised in oral evidence.
- Publish a formal report to the lead committee highlighting any areas of concern and suggesting that it may wish to seek further information on them from the Scottish Government.