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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 17 March 2021 [Draft]

Agenda: Human Right to a Healthy Environment, Portfolio Question Time, Scotland’s Railway, Testing Strategy, Business Motion, Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3, Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill, Scottish Land Commissioners (Reappointment), Standing Order Rule Changes (Urgent Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Questions), Standing Order Rule Changes (Public Petitions System), Standing Order Rule Changes (Equalities and Human Rights Committee Remit), Business Motion, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Clydebank Blitz (80th Anniversary)


Contents


Standing Order Rule Changes (Urgent Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Questions)

The Presiding Officer (Ken Macintosh)

The next item of business is a debate on motion S5M-24366, in the name of Bill Kidd, on urgent Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body questions.

18:10  

Bill Kidd (Glasgow Anniesland) (SNP)

The first Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee report that I will speak to today recommends that a new rule should be added to standing orders to allow for urgent questions to be put to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body. It is currently not possible under standing orders for urgent questions to be put to the SPCB in the way that urgent questions are put to the Scottish Government.

The SPPA Committee considered that there might be occasions when an urgent matter emerges that members should be able to raise with the SPCB in the chamber. The committee initially raised the proposal with the SPCB and the Parliamentary Bureau. In response to points that were raised by those bodies, the committee developed selection criteria, which were then the subject of a consultation with all MSPs as well as the SPCB and the Parliamentary Bureau. Those consulted were content with the selection criteria, and the committee subsequently agreed to propose a new rule 13.9A, on urgent questions to the SPCB.

The new rule that is proposed in the report largely replicates the standing orders rule for urgent questions to the Scottish Government. It provides that an urgent question should be lodged by 10 am on the day on which there is a meeting in the Parliament. If the Presiding Officer considers the question sufficiently urgent and the most appropriate way of raising the issues concerned, it would then be put and would be answered by any member of the SPCB at an appropriate point during the meeting of the Parliament that day.

Finally, I note that the bureau suggested to the committee that there should be a review of the new procedure after two years, and the committee has agreed to make that recommendation to its successor committee in its legacy report.

I move,

That the Parliament notes the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee’s 8th Report 2021 (Session 5), Standing Order Rule Changes — Urgent Questions to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SP Paper 975), and agrees that the changes to Standing Orders set out in Annexe A of the report be made with effect from 12 May 2021.

The Presiding Officer

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