The glossary provides definitions for parliamentary terms to help you understand the Parliament and how it works. The terms are arranged alphabetically so select a letter to find the term you would like to have explained.
Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee
A subject committee of the Parliament, the remit of which is to consider and report on matters falling within the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work. (As agreed by resolution of Parliament on 1 June 2016)
6 May 1999. The first general election to the Scottish Parliament.
Edinburgh accommodation allowance
An allowance set depending on the travel time from a member’s main residence to Edinburgh.
Education and Skills Committee
A subject committee of the Parliament, the remit of which is to consider and report on matters falling within the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills. (As agreed by resolution of Parliament on 1 June 2016)
Expenses incurred in relation to the conduct or management an election.
The normal method of voting at a meeting of the Parliament. MSPs can vote ‘Yes’, ‘No’ or ‘Abstain’ by pressing the appropriate button on the console on their desks.
An Executive bill which, with the Parliament’s agreement, undergoes a faster legislative process.
Business which the Presiding Officer can allow to be taken at an appropriate point during a meeting of the Parliament.
A question on an urgent matter which, if lodged by 10:00 on a day when the Parliament is meeting, may be asked that day if the Presiding Officer is of the opinion that it is ‘sufficiently urgent’ (rule 13.8).
A ministerial statement on an urgent matter.
employee travel allowance
Under the members' allowances scheme, an allowance for MSPs to be reimbursed for the cost of a specified number of journeys per year between the relevant constituency, region or the main residence of the employee and the parliamentary complex. It is also to fund journeys within the constituency or region made by MSP staff (employed through the SPCB payroll service) who support the member in his/her parliamentary duties. Commuting costs are excluded.
An Act, a part of an Act or, occasionally, a piece of subordinate legislation may be referred to as an enactment.
Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee
A subject committee of the Parliament, the remit of which is to consider and report on matters falling within the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform. (As agreed by resolution of Parliament on 1 June 2016)
One of the accompanying documents for certain private bills relating to works of a class determined by the Presiding Officer, or to compulsory acquisition or use of land and buildings. The statement sets out environmental impact information as determined by the Presiding Officer.
One of the 4 key principles of the report of the Consultative Steering Group. Equal opportunities are defined in the remit of the Equal Opportunities Committee (rule 6.9).
Equalities and Human Rights Committee
A mandatory committee of the Parliament, of 7 members, the remit of which is to consider and report on matters relating to equal opportunities and upon the observance of equal opportunities within the Parliament (and any additional matter added under Rule 6.1.5A).
In these Rules, “equal opportunities” includes the prevention, elimination or regulation of discrimination between persons on grounds of sex or marital status, on racial grounds or on grounds of disability, age, sexual orientation, language or social origin or of other personal attributes, including beliefs or opinions such as religious beliefs or political opinions.
Human rights, including Convention rights (within the meaning of section 1 of the Human Rights Act 1998) and other human rights contained in any international convention, treaty or other international instrument ratified by the United Kingdom.
Name changed from Equal Opportunities Committee to Equalities and Human Rights Committee on 29 September 2016. The committee must be established within 42 sitting days of a Scottish Parliament election.
equipment and furniture scheme
A separate scheme to the members' allowances scheme agreed on 21 June 2001 by Parliament. It regulates the provision of IT, other office supplies and furniture. The scheme was rescinded with effect from 1 October 2008.
estimate of expenses and funding statement
One of the accompanying documents for certain private bills relating to the construction or alteration of works of a class determined by the Presiding Officer, or to compulsory acquisition or use of lands and buildings. The statement sets out the total cost of, and sources of funding for, the project proposed in the bill, and any other financial information determined by the Presiding Officer, or reasons for non-inclusion of any financial information.
The electronic newsletter of the European and External Relations Committee.
European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)
The title used for the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. An international agreement between most European states setting out a package of civil rights and liberties. The ECHR is applied in Scotland through provisions of the Scotland Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 1998.
See Scottish Executive.
A public bill introduced into the Parliament by a member of the Scottish Executive.
The extent of powers conferred on Scottish Ministers, including some responsibilities in reserved matters.
Text attached to a Scottish statutory instrument explaining the policy background.
Executive statement on legislative competence
Each Executive bill must be accompanied on introduction by a statement by a member of the Scottish Executive stating that, in his or her view, the provisions of the bill would be within the legislative competence of the Parliament.
See Members' Expenses Scheme.
A form of accompanying document, the purpose of which is to summarise objectively what the provisions of the bill do.
extraordinary general election
A general election held because the Parliament either has resolved that it should be dissolved, or has failed to nominate a First Minister within the relevant statutory period. When either situation arises, the Presiding Officer proposes a date of poll, and the Parliament may be dissolved by royal proclamation for the election to be held on the proposed day (section 3, Scotland Act 1998).