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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Meeting of the Parliament 22 May 2018

Agenda: Time for Reflection, Business Motion, Topical Question Time, Police Call Handling, One Minute’s Silence, Police Call Handling, Disability Employment Gap, Presiding Officer’s Ruling, Decision Time, Restorative Justice


Contents


Presiding Officer’s Ruling

The Presiding Officer (Ken Macintosh)

Members will recall that, last Thursday, Daniel Johnson raised a point of order regarding the Education and Skills Committee. The issue related to the conduct of the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills and the officials who work for him.

I was grateful that Daniel Johnson gave me advance notice of his point of order, but, because decision time was brought forward last Thursday, I received very short notice of a few minutes of it, and it highlighted several rather detailed points. It was for those reasons that I undertook to look into the matter and return to members with my response.

I should say first and foremost that, as members will be aware, complaints against ministers are for the ministerial code and complaints against civil servants are for the civil service code. In relation to the specific matter, I understand that further clarification from the Government has been requested by some members of the Education and Skills Committee, and the cabinet secretary and his officials will no doubt respond as soon as practicable. I think that that process needs to be allowed to take place.

On the wider point about the relationship between committees and the Scottish Government, the protocol on that is long-standing and is between the Scottish Government and the Conveners Group. It is important to ensure that that protocol works for both the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government and recognises the respective roles of both.

I hope that that addresses the point of order.