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Chamber and committees

Meeting of the Parliament

Meeting date: Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Agenda: Portfolio Question Time, European Union Referendum (Update), Enterprise and Skills Support, “Report on the Memorandum of Understanding of Ofcom” , Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill, Business Motion, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Campbeltown Airport (Spaceport Bid)


“Report on the Memorandum of Understanding of Ofcom”

The Presiding Officer (Ken Macintosh)

The next item of business is consideration of motion S5M-02106, in the name of Edward Mountain, on behalf of the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, on the committee’s “Report on the Memorandum of Understanding of Ofcom”.

Edward Mountain (Highlands and Islands) (Con)

The draft Ofcom memorandum of understanding sets out the proposed new relationship to be entered into by the Scottish Government and the United Kingdom Government, the Scottish Parliament and Ofcom. It is delivered as a result of the Smith commission agreement, which states:

“There will be a formal consultative role for the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament in setting the strategic priorities for OFCOM with respect to its activities in Scotland.”

The MOU contains a number of commitments in addition to that consultative role, which include a requirement for Ofcom to appear before the Parliament and for Ofcom to prepare and lay before Parliament its report and accounts.

The Scottish Government will also have powers, on consultation with the secretary of state, to appoint a member of the Ofcom board. Ofcom will also consult the Scottish Government in relation to board appointments to MG Alba and appointments to the Communications Consumer Panel.

At the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee meeting on 28 September, the committee agreed to produce a report recommending to the Scottish Parliament that it gives its approval to the memorandum. I urge members to support the motion in my name, on behalf of the committee, noting the report.

I move,

That the Parliament notes the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee’s 2nd Report, 2016 (Session 5), Report on the Memorandum of Understanding of Ofcom (SP Paper 18), and approves the memorandum of understanding relating to the relationship between Ofcom, the Scottish Government, the UK Government and the Scottish Parliament.

The question on the motion will be put at decision time.