Scottish Parliament: Chamber Minutes Vol 2, no 29
Author(s): Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body
Copyright holder(s): Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body: © Scottish Parliamentary copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Queen's Printer for Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body.
Vol. 2, No. 29 Session 1
Meeting of the Parliament
Wednesday 1 November 2000
Note: (DT) signifies a decision taken at Decision Time.
The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.
1. Time for Reflection: The Reverend I David Miller, Chaplain of Saughton Prison, Edinburgh, led Time for Reflection.
2. Scottish Ministers: Henry McLeish moved S1M-1297—That the Parliament agrees that Jackie Baillie and Angus MacKay be appointed as Ministers.
David McLetchie moved amendment S1M-1297.1 to motion S1M-1297—
Leave out "and Angus MacKay."
After debate, the amendment was disagreed to (by division: For 43, Against 66, Abstentions 0).
The motion was then agreed to.
3. Junior Scottish Ministers: Henry McLeish moved S1M-1298—That the Parliament agrees that Malcolm Chisholm, Margaret Curran, Tavish Scott and Allan Wilson be appointed as junior Scottish Ministers.
After debate, the motion was agreed to.
4. Official Information and Accountability to Parliament - The Executive's Policy: Henry McLeish moved S1M-1299—That the Parliament notes that the Executive is committed to a policy of openness, accessibility and accountability in all its dealings with the Parliament and its Committees; further notes both the Parliament’s right and duty to hold the Executive to account including the power to invoke section 23 of the Scotland Act and the public interest in maintaining the confidentiality of exchanges between officials and Ministers concerning policy advice; observes that other Parliaments with strong freedom of information regimes do not disclose the terms of such exchanges and calls, to that end, for the Executive and the Parliament to observe the following principles:
(i) consistent with its policy of openness, the Executive should always seek to make as much information as possible publicly available as a matter of course and should respond positively to requests for information from the Parliament and its Committees;
(ii) officials are accountable to Ministers and Ministers in turn are accountable to the Parliament and it follows that, while officials can provide Committees with factual information, Committees should look to Ministers to account for the policy decisions they have taken;
(iii) where, exceptionally, Committees find it necessary to scrutinise exchanges between officials and Ministers on policy issues, arrangements should be made to ensure that the confidentiality of these exchanges is respected,
and commends these principles to Committees as guidelines to be followed in their dealings with the Executive.
Mr John Swinney moved amendment S1M-1299.2 to motion S1M-1299—
Leave out from "that the Executive" to end and insert—
"the need for openness, accessibility and accountability in the workings of the Executive and calls upon the First Minister to convene a meeting at which the Leaders of the political parties in the Parliament and the members of the Consultative Steering Group develop guidelines for access to information in relation to the scrutiny of the Executive by the Parliament and its committees and to bring the proposed guidelines from the meeting before the Parliament for debate."
After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 30, Against 83, Abstentions 0).
David McLetchie moved amendment S1M-1299.1 to motion S1M-1299—
Insert at end—
"and further calls upon the Executive to clarify (a) in what circumstances exceptions to these principles are acceptable to it in relation to advice given to Ministers by civil servants and (b) how the proposals entitled "Bringing politics back to the heart of Government" presented to Labour MSPs by Henry McLeish on 24 October 2000 (and any subsequent clarification of same) are reconciled with these principles."
After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 18, Against 66, Abstentions 30).
The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 66, Against 29, Abstentions 19).
5. Decision Time: The Parliament took a decision on item 4 as noted above.
6. Sydney Paralympics and Olympic Games: The Parliament debated S1M-1188 in the name of Mrs Mary Mulligan—That the Parliament congratulates the Scottish Paralympians and Olympians on their success at being selected for the Sydney games and congratulates the teams on their success in Australia.
The meeting closed at 5.42 pm.
P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
1 November 2000
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Scottish Parliament: Chamber Minutes Vol 2, no 29. 2021. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved January 2021, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=1078.
"Scottish Parliament: Chamber Minutes Vol 2, no 29." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2021. Web. January 2021. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=1078.
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