RECORDING INFORMAL MEETINGS
1. Where a committee meets formally in public session, there will be an Official Report of its proceedings in accordance with Rule 16.5 of Standing Orders.
2. Committees however undertake a range of other work where a record of the discussion and outcome would be helpful. This would include fact-finding visits, public forums and other civic participation events.
3. A range of options is available to committees to be used according to circumstances. These are:
A note by the clerk in appropriate form - this could be a report of the event or a discursive minute.
A substantially verbatim report (but which is not an Official Report) produced by Official Report staff. This might be appropriate for an open forum type of meeting where members of the public contribute views as part of an information-gathering exercise to feed into an inquiry or for the plenary session of an event such as Business in the Chamber. To produce such reports, the Official Report depends on the broadcasting office to provide a recording. Timing of production depends on the volume of business generated by formal committee meetings and meetings of the Parliament.
A report of action points/agreements/outcomes from conferences framed by conference organisers/facilitators. Where a civic participation event is organised using professional organisers or facilitators, it can be agreed that they should produce such a report. This is particularly useful for events involving syndicate or breakout groups where reports are made back to a plenary session.
4. In all of the above situations, a committee can give status to these reports by including them on their agenda as committee papers and any discussion will then be reported in the Official Report. The reports can, if appropriate, also be annexed to committee reports as information relevant to an inquiry in the same way as Official Reports of evidence-taking sessions are annexed.