Committees of the Scottish Parliament
The Scottish Parliament has a number of committees, with small numbers of Members appointed to scrutinise the work of the Scottish Government.
Much of the work of the Scottish Parliament is done in committee. The role of committees is stronger in the Scottish Parliament than in other parliamentary systems, partly as a means of strengthening the role of backbenchers in their scrutiny of the Government and partly to compensate for the fact that the parliament is unicameral (there is no revising chamber).
The principal role of committees in the Scottish Parliament is to conduct inquiries, scrutinise legislation and hold the government to account. Committee meetings take place in the Parliament's committee rooms all day Tuesday and Wednesday morning when Parliament is sitting. Committees can also meet at other locations throughout Scotland.
The membership of the committees as of August 2011 is shown below. All committees also have substitute members (not shown).
Mandatory Committees are committees which are set down under the Scottish Parliament's standing orders, which govern their remits and proceedings. The current Mandatory Committees of the Scottish Parliament are:
Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations
Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee
|John Scott (Convener)||Scottish Conservative Party|
|Stuart McMillan (Deputy Convener)||Scottish National Party|
|David Torrance||Scottish National Party|
|Monica Lennon||Scottish Labour Party|
|Rachael Hamilton||Scottish Conservative Party|
Equalities and Human Rights
Finance and Constitution
Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny
The remit of the committee, as published by the Parliament, is to consider and report on:
- any accounts laid before the Parliament
- any report laid before or made to the Parliament by the Auditor General for Scotland
- any other document laid before the Parliament concerning financial control, accounting and auditing in relation to public expenditure
- post-legislative scrutiny
The remit of the Committee is to decide what action should be taken on admissible public petitions. The Committee is also responsible for deciding, in cases of dispute, whether a public petition is admissible.
On 16 June 2009 the Committee reported on its 'Inquiry into the public petitions process' issued to reflect 10 years of operation, which included an evaluation of the pioneering e-Petitioner online petitioning system.
|Johann Lamont (Convener)||Scottish Labour Party|
|Angus MacDonald (Deputy Convener)||Scottish National Party|
|Brian Whittle||Scottish Conservative Party|
|Maurice Corry||Scottish Conservative Party|
|Rona Mackay||Scottish National Party|
Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments
Subject Committees are established at the beginning of each parliamentary session, and again the balance of members on each committee reflects the balance of parties across Parliament. Typically each committee corresponds with one (or more) of the departments (or ministries) of the Scottish Government. The current Subject Committees are:
Economy, Jobs and Fair Work
Education and Skills
Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform
Health and Sport
Justice Sub-committee on Policing
Local Government and Communities
Rural Economy and Connectivity
Topics this committee covers are: Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries/Aquaculture, Food & Drink, Crofting, Transport, Digital Connectivity and Islands Issues
The Conveners’ Group is a special committee of the Scottish Parliament chaired by either the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament or one of the Deputy Presiding Officers. Its main responsibilities are involved in the administration of Committee expenses and certain other activities.
Private Bill Committees
A further type of committee is normally set up to scrutinise private bills submitted to the Scottish Parliament by an outside party or promoter who is not a member of the Scottish Parliament or Scottish Government. Private bills normally relate to large-scale development projects such as infrastructure projects that require the use of land or property. Private Bill Committees have been set up to consider legislation on issues such as the development of the Edinburgh Tram Network, the Glasgow Airport Rail Link, the Airdrie-Bathgate Rail Link and extensions to the National Gallery of Scotland.
Burrell Collection (Lending and Borrowing) (Scotland) Bill Committee
City of Edinburgh Council (Leith Links and Surplus Fire Fund) (Scotland) Bill Committee
City of Edinburgh Council (Portobello Park) Bill Committee
Justice Sub-Committee on Policing - Implementation of Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act
Referendum (Scotland) Bill Committee
- Bruce Crawford (Convener)
- Annabel Goldie
- Annabelle Ewing
- Linda Fabiani
- Patrick Harvie
- Rob Gibson
- Lewis Macdonald
- Stewart Maxwell
- Tavish Scott
- Drew Smith
- Stuart McMillan
Welfare Reform Committee
- Dardanelli (2005) p185
- "Committees - Parliamentary Business: Scottish Parliament". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
- "Finance Committee to meet in Perth". Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe). Archived from the original on 21 March 2005. Retrieved 2006-11-22.
- Inquiry into the public petitions process Archived 25 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine Scottish Parliament Paper 300, 3rd Report, 2009 (Session 3) (PU/S3/09/R3) (Accessed 16.06.2009)
- "Private Bills". Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe). Archived from the original on 5 December 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-22.
- "Private Bill Committees". Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe). Archived from the original on 5 December 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-22.
- Committees of the Scottish Parliament, at the official parliamentary website