Correspondence

Proxy voting

The Committee received some correspondence on 5 February 2019 from David Stewart MSP about proxy voting.

The Committee responded to David Stewart’s letter on 5 March 2019. The Committee thought it would be helpful to await the outcome of a review of the pilot scheme in the House of Commons on proxy voting in order to determine what lessons could be learned about how proxy voting had worked in practice – and whether these might be applicable to the Scottish Parliament. The Committee therefore intends to return to the issue of proxy voting as part of its future work programme.

Law Officers Answering Questions in the Chamber

The Committee has received correspondence from Mike Rumbles MSP and Adam Tomkins MSP about the Law Officers answering questions in the Chamber. 

The Committee discussed this correspondence and agreed to write to the Scottish Government to ask for its views on the points it raised, and the proposal that Standing Orders should be amended. The Committee also agreed to seek information from the Scottish Government on how it is decided which oral questions are answered by the Law Officers and which by other Ministers.

The letter from the Convener of the SPPA Committee to the Minister for Parliamentary Business and Veterans includes a copy of the original correspondence from Mike Rumbles MSP and Adam Tomkins MSP. 

The Committee received a response from the Scottish Government on 20 March 2019. 

Freedom of Information

At its meeting on 29 June the Committee considered the resolution of the Parliament agreed on 21 June 2017 on Scottish Government compliance with the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, and noted the call for an independent inquiry and for post legislative scrutiny of the Act. The Committee agreed to write to the SPCB and, subsequently, the Scottish Government to seek their views on this matter.

Commission for Parliamentary Reform

At its meeting on 20 April 2017 the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee took evidence from the Commission on Parliamentary Reform. After that meeting the Chair of the Commission, John McCormick, wrote to the Committee with some additional information.

Scotland Act 2016

The Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee has been considering Standing Order rules changes in relation to the Scotland Act 2016 - super-majorities.

At its meeting on 2 March 2017 the Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government for its views on the proposed Standing Order rule changes.

Acting Conveners

Parliamentary Liaison Officers

The Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee has been considering the issue of Parliamentary Liaison Officers.

At its meeting on 17 November 2016 the Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government to recommend that the Ministerial Code be revised to extend the requirement on Parliamentary Liaison Officers to declare their status.

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