Committees of the Scottish Parliament: Wikis


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Private Bill Committees are set up to deal with the legislation required for major public sector infrastructure projects - such as the underground extensions to the National Gallery of Scotland in 2003.

The Scottish Parliament has a number of committees: small numbers of Members appointed to deal with particular topics or issues.

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[1] 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.[2] 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.[3]

Membership of the committees reflects the balance of parties across Parliament.[2] There are different types of committee, with their functions set out in different ways.

The membership of the committees in December 2008 is shown below. All committees also have Substitute Members (not shown).


Mandatory Committees

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:[2]


Public Audit

The remit of the committee, as published by the Parliament, is to consider and report on:

  1. any accounts laid before the Parliament
  2. any report laid before or made to the Parliament by the Auditor General for Scotland
  3. any other document laid before the Parliament concerning financial control, accounting and auditing in relation to public expenditure
Name Party
Hugh Henry (Convener) Scottish Labour Party
Murdo Fraser (Deputy Convener) Scottish Conservative Party
Willie Coffey Scottish National Party
Cathie Craigie Scottish Labour Party
Lord Foukes Scottish Labour Party
Stuart McMillan Scottish National Party
Nicole Stephen Scottish Liberal Democrats
Andrew Welsh Scottish National Party

Equal Opportunities

Name Party
Margaret Mitchell (Convener) Scottish Conservative Party
Elaine Smith (Deputy Convener) Scottish Labour Party
Malcolm Chisholm Scottish Labour Party
Marlyn Glen Scottish Labour Party
Bill Kidd Scottish National Party
Hugh O'Donnell Scottish Liberal Democrats
Sandra White Scottish National Party
Bill Wilson Scottish National Party

European and External Relations

Name Party
Irene Oldfather (Convener) Scottish Labour Party
Michael Matheson (Deputy Convener) Scottish National Party
Rhona Brankin Scottish Labour Party
Ted Brocklebank Scottish Conservative Party
Patricia Ferguson Scottish Labour Party
Jamie Hepburn Scottish National Party
Jim Hume Scottish Liberal Democrats
Sandra White Scottish National Party


Name Party
Andrew Welsh (Convener) Scottish National Party
Tom McCabe (Deputy Convener) Scottish Labour Party
Derek Brownlee Scottish Conservative Party
Malcolm Chisholm Scottish Labour Party
Linda Fabiani Scottish National Party
Joe FitzPatrick Scottish National Party
Jeremy Purvis Scottish Liberal Democrats
David Whitton Scottish Labour Party

Public Petitions

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'[4] issued to reflect 10 years of operation, which included an evaluation of the pioneering e-Petitioner online petitioning system.

Frank McAveety (Convener) Labour
John Farquhar Munro (Deputy Convener) Liberal Democrats
Nigel Don SNP
Marlyn Glen Labour
Robin Harper Scottish Green
Anne McLaughlin SNP
Nanette Milne Conservative
John Wilson SNP

Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments

Subordinate Legislation

Subject Committees

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:[2]

Economy, Energy and Tourism

Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture

Health and Sport


Local Government and Communities

Rural Affairs and Environment

Scottish Parliamentary Pension Scheme

Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change

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.[5] 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.[6]


  1. ^ Dardanelli (2005) p185
  2. ^ a b c d "The Scottish Parliament Committees". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 2006-10-13. 
  3. ^ "Finance Committee to meet in Perth". Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe). Retrieved 2006-11-22. 
  4. ^ Inquiry into the public petitions process Scottish Parliament Paper 300, 3rd Report, 2009 (Session 3) (PU/S3/09/R3) (Accessed 16.06.2009)
  5. ^ "Private Bills". Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe). Retrieved 2006-11-22. 
  6. ^ "Private Bill Committees". Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe). Retrieved 2006-11-22. 

External links


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