Official Report

 

  • Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee 10 March 2016 [Draft]    
    • Attendance

      Convener

      *Stewart Stevenson (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP)

      Deputy convener

      *Mary Fee (West Scotland) (Lab)

      Committee members

      *Cameron Buchanan (Lothian) (Con)
      *Patricia Ferguson (Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn) (Lab)
      *Fiona McLeod (Strathkelvin and Bearsden) (SNP)
      *Michael Russell (Argyll and Bute) (SNP)
      *Dave Thompson (Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch) (SNP)

      *attended

      The following also participated:

      Joanna Hardy (Clerk)

      Clerk to the committee

      Gillian Baxendine
      Alison Walker

      Location

      The David Livingstone Room (CR6)

       

    • Annual Report 2015-16
      • The Convener (Stewart Stevenson):

        I welcome members to the sixth meeting in 2016 of the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee. As usual, I remind everybody to switch off their mobile phones.

        Our first item on the agenda is to consider our draft annual report, copies of which we have in front of us. I invite comments from members.

      • Patricia Ferguson (Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn) (Lab):

        Given that a complaint against a member is mentioned, I wonder whether, under the heading “Cross-Party Groups”, we should also mention that we looked at complaints about cross-party groups.

      • The Convener:

        That is probably fair comment. If I recall correctly, we had two of those.

      • Patricia Ferguson:

        Yes.

      • The Convener:

        We can probably rely on the clerks to draft something that we would be happy with. The deputy convener and I can sign that off, if members are okay with that.

      • Patricia Ferguson:

        That would be fine.

      • The Convener:

        Is there anything else that anybody wants to say about the annual report? Patricia Ferguson can keep going if she wishes to.

      • Patricia Ferguson:

        I will be slightly pedantic—surprise, surprise.

      • The Convener:

        Please do so.

      • Patricia Ferguson:

        Paragraph 10, on the Lobbying (Scotland) Bill, states:

        “A number of amendments were agreed to.”

        I cannot remember the number, but there did not seem to me to be that many on the day. I would quite like the report to say that a number of Government amendments were agreed to, because I think that only Government amendments were agreed to.

      • The Convener:

        I am perfectly content with that. That is a factual statement of what happened. [Interruption.] I beg your pardon—the clerk is reminding us that Cameron Buchanan had an amendment accepted.

      • Cameron Buchanan (Lothian) (Con):

        Yes, I did.

      • Patricia Ferguson:

        Did he?

      • The Convener:

        Unfortunately, I have not brought my Lobbying (Scotland) Bill folder. We will check the veracity of that and make what the report says correct. Let us put it this way: if we find that Cameron Buchanan succeeded with an amendment—I have no recollection of that—we will leave what the report says as is, but if we find that only Government amendments were agreed to, I would be perfectly content for the report to say that. We will leave that as a matter of fact to be adjusted.

        Is there anything else?

      • Patricia Ferguson:

        I have a question. The “Engagement and innovation” section states that

        “a leaflet was produced which summarised”

        the Lobbying (Scotland) Bill. It states:

        “The leaflet was distributed to members of the public who visited the Parliament. An electronic version was also distributed”.

        Did that have any noticeable effect? It is all very well doing that, but if that had a noticeable effect, it is worth saying that and perhaps encouraging others to do likewise. If that had no noticeable effect, maybe we have to own up to that.

      • Joanna Hardy (Clerk):

        The problem is that we are unable to compare that. I have thought about that, and the difficulty is that we have not really done a similar piece of work without a leaflet, so it is very hard to work out which contributors to the inquiry contributed as a result of the leaflet. Therefore, I did not think that it was possible to do an evaluation, unfortunately.

      • Patricia Ferguson:

        Okay. Fair enough.

      • The Convener:

        So we will leave that as is.

      • Patricia Ferguson:

        Yes. Absolutely.

      • The Convener:

        If colleagues have nothing else to say, I invite members to agree that we are content with the report, subject to the discussions that we have had, and that the amendments that we have discussed should be delegated to me and the deputy convener.

        Members indicated agreement.

      • The Convener:

        That ends the public part of the meeting.

        09:34 Meeting continued in private until 09:46.