10th Report, 2015 (Session 4): Standing Order Rule Changes - printed and published

SP Paper 815 (Web)


Annexe A: Standing Order rule changes
Annexe B: Extract from minutes

Remit and membership


1. The remit of the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee is to consider and report on—

(a) the practice and procedures of the Parliament in relation to its business;

(b) whether a member’s conduct is in accordance with these Rules and any Code of Conduct for members, matters relating to members’ interests, and any other matters relating to the conduct of members in carrying out their Parliamentary duties;

(c) the adoption, amendment and application of any Code of Conduct for members; and

(d) matters relating to public appointments in Scotland.

2. Where the Committee considers it appropriate, it may by motion recommend that a member's rights and privileges be withdrawn to such extent and for such period as are specified in the motion.

(Standing Orders of the Scottish Parliament, Rule 6.4)


Stewart Stevenson (Convener)
Mary Fee (Deputy Convener)
George Adam
Cameron Buchanan
Patricia Ferguson
Gil Paterson
Dave Thompson

Standing Order Rule Changes - printed and published



1. There are a number of requirements within Standing Orders to “print”, “publish” or “print and publish” various parliamentary documents. Some of these are used inconsistently, for example there are requirements to “print” motions in the Business Bulletin, but only a requirement to “publish” the Business Bulletin.

2. In line with common understanding, the distinction in these references is that “publish” could be by electronic means, but “printed” requires the production of a hard copy.

3. This report also addresses some technical inconsistencies between the Rules on Public and Private Bills.

Proposed changes to Standing Orders 

4. There are a number of instances in various Rules where “print” could be changed to “publish” on the basis that this would ensure consistency and remove the anomalies in the Standing Orders. It would also allow documents that are currently printed as a result of the terms of Standing Orders, but not necessarily required in printed format, such as the Journal of Proceedings, to be published only electronically.

5. It is suggested that all references to “print” are retained in relation to all bills and accompanying documents, as at present it is not envisaged that scrutiny of bills, for example at Stage 3 in the Chamber, could be undertaken effectively without hard copies of bills and accompanying documents being available.

6. Changing references to “publish” only does not preclude the ability to print all of the documents listed either centrally or by individuals requiring them in that format.

7. Where changes from “printed” to “published” are being suggested, the relevant rules are set out in the Annexe. In considering whether to remove the requirement to print certain documents, but retain the requirement to publish them, any legal requirement to produce information in certain formats has been taken into account.

8. The Annexe also includes a rule-change which harmonises the references to “printed” and “published”.

9. In addition to these references to “printed” and “published”, a small number of anomalies in Standing Orders have been identified where documents that are currently necessary for parliamentary scrutiny are not currently required to be published at all. These are marshalled lists and groupings for public, private and hybrid bills. In addition, there are inconsistencies in the way the rules require Presiding Officer and SPCB determinations about bills to be published. These anomalies are addressed by the proposed rule changes set out in the Annexe.

10. The rule changes are set out in full in the Annexe.


11. The Committee recommends to the Parliament the Standing Order rule changes set out in annexe A of this report.

Annexe A: Standing Order rule changes

CHAPTERS 1, 8, 9, 9A, 9C AND 16

In each of Rules 1.6.1, 8.11A.6, 9C.1.3, 16.1.3, 16.2.3, 16.3.1 and 16.6.1, omit “printed and”.

In each of Rules 8.2.5, 8.5.5, 9.10.4, 9.14.3(a), 9.15.7A, 9A.12.4 and 9C.14.5, for “printed” substitute “published”.

In Rule 9.14.7, for “reprinted” and “reprint” substitute “republished” and “republish” respectively.

In each of Rules 9.14.10 and 9.14.13, for both occurrences of “printed” substitute “published”.

In each of Rules 9.10.8, 9A.12.8 and 9C.14.10, at the end insert “The Clerk shall arrange for the marshalled list to be published.”.

In each of Rules 9.10.12, 9A.12.12 and 9C.14.14, after the first sentence insert “The Clerk shall arrange for any groupings to be published.”.

After Rule 9A.1.1A insert-

“1B. The Clerk shall arrange for all determinations made by the Presiding Officer or the Parliamentary corporation under this Chapter to be published and notified to the Parliament.”.

In each of Rules 9A.1.4 and 9A.6.4, omit the words from “and” to “Parliament”.

In each of Rules 9A.1.4B, 9A.4.2 and 9A.12.1, omit the second sentence.

In Rule 9A.2.1, at the end insert “The Presiding Officer may determine the proper form of any accompanying document.”.

Omit Rule 9A.3.

[These amendments remove references to printing from Standing Orders where these are considered to be no longer necessary, for example because the matter in question is included in the Business Bulletin (which is published electronically and not printed) or is otherwise published only electronically. Where the current requirement is for both printing and publishing, the former is removed. Where the current requirement is for printing only, this is replaced by a requirement to publish. There is at present no requirement to publish the marshalled list and groupings for Bills, and Chapters 9, 9A and 9C are amended to correct this.

Some further adjustments have been made to provisions about determinations made by the Presiding Officer and Parliamentary corporation in relation to Private Bills, to make them simpler and more coherent, in particular by creating a single requirement to publish and notify the Parliament of these determinations in Chapter 9A, and removing existing multiple duties to publish and notify different types of determination under that Chapter.]

Annexe B: Extract from minutes

10th Meeting 2015 (Session 4), Thursday 4 June 2015

Decision on taking business in private: The Committee agreed to take items 5 and 6 in private.

Decision on taking business in private: The Committee agreed its consideration of Standing Order Rule changes in relation to published and printed documents, its approach to an inquiry into Law Commission Bills, its approach to changes resulting from the Smith Commission and its consideration of confidentiality in the Code of Conduct should be taken in private at future meetings.

Standing Orders – printed and published documents (in private): The Committee considered a note by the Clerk.

16th Meeting 2015 (Session 4), Thursday 8 October 2015

Printed and published (in private): The Committee agreed Standing Order rule changes and agreed its report for publication.

Any links to external websites in this report were working correctly at the time of publication. However, the Scottish Parliament cannot accept responsibility for content on external websites.

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