Economy and Fair Work Committee
Business Planning Day Note of Decisions
Business Planning Day – Note of Decisions Date: 23 August 2021
Attendees: Claire Baker (Convener), Colin Beattie (Deputy Convener), Alexander Burnett (virtual), Jamie Halcro Johnston (virtual), Fiona Hyslop, Gordon MacDonald, Lorna Slater, Colin Smyth, Michelle Thomson.
- The Committee received virtual online presentations from Dr Katherine Trebeck (Wellbeing Economy Alliance), Professor Graeme Roy (University of Glasgow), Dave Moxham (STUC), Laurence Jeff Johnson (International Labour Organisation) and Dr Hannah White (Institute for Government).
- The Committee considered a work programme, resources and work practices paper by the clerk.
- The Committee agreed to seek updates from the Scottish Government on the procurement common framework, the late payments (commercial transactions) common framework, the services common framework and the mutual recognition of professional qualifications common framework.
- The Committee noted that the Minister for Parliamentary Business had written to the Presiding Officer about the UK Subsidy Control Bill and noted the importance of the issues addressed in the bill.
- The Committee agreed to request sight of the Annual Analysis Report provided to the Enterprise and Skills Review Board and to seek an update on the report and recommendations expected from the short-life working group established to scope the capability required to manage Scottish Government ownership stakes in private companies.
- The Committee agreed to seek an update from the Scottish Government on how it is responding to the report of the working group chaired by Benny Higgins on Financing Scotland’s Recovery.
- The Committee agreed to seek a progress report from the Scottish Government on its general review of statutory debt solutions and also on the current status of the R100 programme.
- The Committee noted the dates for the Festival of Politics and that there were likely to be opportunities for members.
- The Committee considered its work programme and agreed to issue additional invitations for the meeting on 1 September to Co-Op UK and STUC and to defer the planned evidence session with the Scottish National Investment Bank. The Committee agreed to invite the Road Haulage Association, the Scottish Retail Consortium, Construction Scotland and Forth Ports to give evidence at an early meeting themed around post-covid recovery including barriers such as supply chain issues.
- The Committee considered possible inquiry topics. Taking a forward-looking approach, the following areas of interest were identified: resilience and innovation, the impact on retail of covid-19 and the move to e-commerce, a Just Transition to a net zero economy and what that means for business, with a potential North East focus and re-imagining town centres.
- The Committee agreed its first inquiry will be into supply chains and to consider a scoping paper in due course.
- The committee agreed to seek further information from the Scottish Government on its response to the town centre review, publication of its retail strategy and the timings for both, before considering the focus for inquiry work in those areas.
- The committee noted that, for now, committee meetings should continue to be held in hybrid or virtual form to reduce the number of people in the building; that meetings would normally have a maximum of two panels of witnesses, and that there will normally be a pre-meeting where witnesses are giving evidence.
- The clerking team will raise the issue of access to FT press-cuts and arrange to circulate a regular member update of relevant publications.
Clerk to the Economy and Fair Work Committee