The role of the committee is to scrutinise the legislation that enabled a referendum on Scottish independence to take place on 18 September 2014. In particular, the committee's remit covers:
- the draft “section 30 Order” that was laid on 22 October 2012 – The Scotland Act 1998 (Modification of Schedule 5) Order 2013
- the Scottish Independence Referendum (Franchise) Bill, introduced on 11 March 2013
- the Scottish Independence Referendum Bill, introduced on 21 March 2013.
Scrutiny of the section 30 Order was completed in 2012, and scrutiny of the two Bills in 2013, to ensure all the relevant legislation was in place well ahead of the referendum (held on 18 September 2014).
On 9 October 2014, the Committee agreed to undertake post-legislative scrutiny of the above legislation, focusing on the experience of 16 and 17-year olds entitled to vote, for the first time, in the referendum. A programme of engagement activities is planned, and further details will be announced in due course. The Committee also agreed to invite evidence, in writing in the first instance, from electoral officials (on measures taken to deal with the high turnout) and from local authorities (on their approach to discussion of the referendum in schools). Oral evidence, and a report to the Parliament, will follow later.
The Referendum (Scotland) Bill Committee changed its name to the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee on 29 October 2014.