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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Meeting of the Parliament 28 June 2017

Agenda: Phone Boxes, Portfolio Question Time, Education Governance, Code of Conduct for MSPs and Written Statement Revision, Business Motions , Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Charter of Rights for People with Dementia and their Carers


Contents


Code of Conduct for MSPs and Written Statement Revision

The next item of business is consideration of motion S5M-06346, on the code of conduct for members, and motion S5M-06347, on the interests of members. I call Clare Adamson to speak to and move the motions on behalf of the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee.

17:00  

The Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee has reviewed the “Code of Conduct for Members of the Scottish Parliament” and the written statement form that members are required to complete when they register interests. We felt that the code could be more streamlined and user friendly, and we wished to avoid the confusion that sometimes arises between what constitutes an enforceable rule of the code and what is provided as guidance and best practice.

I am happy to reassure members that none of the rules in the code has been altered or removed, although the wording of some has been altered where we felt that that could provide greater clarity. Our report “Code of Conduct for MSPs and Written Statement Revisions” sets out the recommended changes. We propose that the existing four-volume structure be replaced with a single code of conduct document that is as succinct as possible, and a companion guidance document.

The new format of the code means that the determination by which Parliament agreed the format and content of the written statement needs to be updated. We also took the opportunity to make some minor textual changes to the form so that it reflects more closely the legislation that governs registration of interests. The new written statement form appears in annexe B of the committee’s report. All MSPs have been consulted on the revised determination, as required by standing orders.

As ever, members will be able to seek advice from the standards clerks on all matters relating to the code of conduct and the register of interests.

I move,

That the Parliament agrees to amend the Code of Conduct for Members of the Scottish Parliament by making the alterations set out in Annexe A of the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee's 7th Report 2017 (Session 5), Code of Conduct for MSPs and Written Statement Revisions (SP Paper 174) with effect from 30 August 2017.

That the Parliament, in exercise of the powers conferred by sections 4(1) and 4(2) of the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006 (asp 12)—

makes the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006 (Form and Content of Written Statement) Determination 2017 as set out in Annexe B of the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee's 7th Report 2017 (Session 5), Code of Conduct for MSPs and Written Statement Revisions (SP Paper 174);

revokes the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006 (Form and Content of Written Statement) Determination 2016; and

provides that these changes shall have effect from 30 August 2017.