Liosta Briathrachais

S

sanctions

Penalties which may be imposed for breaches of parliamentary rules.

schedule 4

The schedule to the Scotland Act 1998 which sets out laws which the Parliament cannot change.

schedule 5

The schedule to the Scotland Act 1998 in which reserved matters are listed.

schedule 6

The schedule to the Scotland Act 1998 which describes devolution issues and how they are dealt with in the courts.

Scotland Act 1998

The main legislation of the UK Parliament.

Scottish Administration

The term used to denote both the political and administrative sides of the Scottish government. As defined in section 126 of the Scotland Act 1998, it includes members of the Scottish Executive, junior Scottish Ministers, certain non-ministerial office-holders (such as the Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages for Scotland, the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland and the Keeper of the Records of Scotland) and their staff. The definition of the Scottish Administration can be changed by an order in council to add non-ministerial office-holders.

Scottish Affairs Committee

A committee of the House of Commons appointed to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Scotland Office.

Scottish budget

The Scottish Executive’s expenditure plans and financial proposals to be contained in the annual budget bill.

Scottish Commission for Public Audit (SCPA)

A body which has various functions relating to the accounts and audit of Audit Scotland.

Scottish consolidated fund

The fund created by the Scotland Act 1998 into which payments are made by the Secretary of State or sums received by the Scottish Administration, and out of which the spending of the Scottish Administration and other statutorily defined bodies comes.

Scottish Constitutional Convention (SCC)

The body composed of a number of Scottish political parties and other public groups and organisations which, from 1989 until 1995, produced the detailed proposals for a devolution scheme which informed the UK government's policy from 1997.

Scottish Executive

As defined in section 44 of the Scotland Act 1998, the Scottish Executive is the group of senior Ministers in the Scottish government. It comprises the First Minister, other Ministers appointed by the First Minister under section 47 of the Scotland Act 1998, and the 2 Scottish Law Officers (that is, all Ministers in the devolved government other than junior Scottish Ministers). These members of the Executive are known collectively in the Act as ‘the Scottish Ministers’. Informally, the term is frequently used to mean the Scottish Ministers, the Scottish Law Officers and the junior Scottish Ministers, and their staff. The current administration prefers to be called the Scottish Government.

Scottish Government

An informal, descriptive term for the Scottish Executive or more widely, for the Scottish Administration. The current administration prefers to be called the Scottish Government.

Scottish Grand Committee

A standing committee of the House of Commons, consisting of all MPs for Scottish seats, together with some additional members. It has a range of functions under standing orders, from holding Ministers to account through questions and debates to scrutiny of certain types of Scottish legislation.

Scottish Information Commissioner

The independent commissioner, appointed under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, who is responsible for enforcing and promoting the right to access public information created by the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004, both of which came into force on 1 January 2005. More information is available on the Scottish Information Commissioner’s website.

Scottish Law Officers

The Lord Advocate and the Solicitor General for Scotland.

Scottish ministerial code

The document containing a code of conduct and guidance on procedures for Scottish Ministers.

Scottish Ministers

The collective term used in section 44(2) of the Scotland Act 1998 for the members of the Scottish Executive who exercise statutory functions, including those transferred from UK Ministers of the Crown. Apart from functions conferred specifically on the First Minister or the Lord Advocate, functions conferred on the Scottish Ministers can be exercised by any member of the Scottish Executive. The First Minister is responsible for allocating, and defining the remit of, ministerial posts. The term ‘the Scottish Ministers’ is also applied colloquially to any Ministers or junior Scottish Ministers.

Scottish Office

The name of the former department of the UK government which dealt with many areas of Scottish government before devolution.

Scottish Parliament (SP)

The law-making body for devolved matters created by the Scotland Act 1998.

Scottish Parliament corporate identity

The Scottish Parliament's official logo comprises two parts: the words ‘The Scottish Parliament’ and a badge made up of the Saltire and a crown.

Scottish Parliament electronic information resource (SPEIR)

The Parliament’s intranet.

Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe)

The office that provides research and information services to parliamentary committees, MSPs, their staff, and other offices within the Parliament.

Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB)

The body that arranges for the Parliament to be provided with staff, property and services.

Scottish parliamentary pension scheme (SPPS)

A pension scheme for MSPs, Ministers and various parliamentary office holders.

Scottish Parliamentary Service (SPS)

The Scottish Parliamentary Service is the collective term for the group of professional staff employed by the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) to support the business and operations of the Scottish Parliament.

Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

The independent commissioner who investigates complaints that MSPs have breached the Code of Conduct.

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

An office to look into complaints about Scottish government departments and various other public bodies.

Scottish statutory instrument (SSI)

The mainform of secondary legislation made, confirmed or approved primarily by the Scottish Ministers.

secondary committee

A committee whose remit covers an item or matter but which is not the designated lead committee.

secondary legislation

Legislation made by a Minister or other person or body under powers granted in an Act.

Secretary of State for Scotland

The head of the Scotland Office and the senior Minister of the UK Government dealing with Scottish matters.

section

A piece of text in an Act of the Scottish Parliament, consisting of one or more sentences gathered together under a section title.

Security Office

The office responsible for establishing a safe and secure environment throughout the parliamentary complex.

selection of amendments

selection panel

A group of MSPs, established to nominate a person for appointment by the Queen.

session

The period from the date of first meeting of the Parliament following a general election until it is dissolved.

Sewel convention

A convention that Westminster would not normally legislate on devolved matters without the consent of the Parliament.

Sewel motion

See Legislative Consent Motion.

shadow

An informal term for opposition frontbench posts or structures mirroring those in the government.

Short money

An informal term for the scheme of assistance for registered non-Executive political parties in the Scottish Parliament.

simple majority

When the number of MSPs voting for a proposition is more than the number voting against it.

sitting day

A day when the Office of the Clerk is open and the Parliament is not in recess or dissolved.

Solicitor General for Scotland

The junior Scottish Law Officer.

SPCB Question Time

A period of up to 15 minutes when oral questions to the SPCB are taken in the Chamber.

SPCB's further expenditure plan

A spending plan provided by the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body to the Parliament’s Finance Committee and to the Scottish Executive by 20 August each year (or by the first sitting day thereafter). It is provided under the written agreement between the SPCB and the Committee (SP Paper 156, June 2000) and reflects any changes in the SPCB’s provisional expenditure plan.

SPCB's provisional expenditure plan

A spending plan provided by the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body to the Parliament’s Finance Committee and to the Scottish Executive by 1 March each year (or by the first sitting day thereafter) under the written agreement between the SPCB and the Committee (SP Paper 156, June 2000).

special adviser

A temporary civil servant appointed by the First Minister or the Deputy First Minister to advise Ministers on matters where the work of government and the work of the government parties overlap. Unlike permanent civil servants, special advisers do not have to behave with political impartiality, and must leave their posts if the First Minister or Deputy First Minister who appointed them leaves office.

special rules

The rules procedure that apply to particular types of bills and might supersede the general rules.

sponsorship

A registrable interest where an MSP receives any financial or material support on a regular basis to assist them as an MSP.

staff of the Parliament

The public servants provided by the SPCB for the Parliament's purposes.

staff of the Scottish Administration

Civil servants appointed by the Scottish Ministers or by office-holders in the Scottish Administration.

Stage 1

Stage 2

The stage when amendments to a public bill can be considered by a committee of the Parliament.

Stage 3

The stage for final consideration and amendment of a public bill and for deciding whether it should be passed.

stages of private bills

The various formal stages of consideration of a private bill by the Parliament: Preliminary Stage, Consideration Stage, Final Stage and, if necessary, Reconsideration Stage (rules 9A.7-9A.11).

stages of public bills

The various formal stages of consideration of a public bill by the Parliament. Stage 1 is a consideration of, and a decision on, a bill’s general principles. Stage 2 is a consideration and amendment of the details of a bill by a parliamentary committee (or committees) or in a Committee of the Whole Parliament. Stage 3 is the final consideration and amendment of a bill and a decision whether it should be passed or rejected. There may also be a Reconsideration Stage if necessary (rules 9.5-9.8).

stages of the budget process

The 3 stages of the annual budgeting process in the Parliament, based on the report of the Financial Issues Advisory Group, and set out in the written agreement between the Parliament and the Scottish Ministers (SP Paper 155, June 2000). Stage 1 is a consideration of spending strategy, to enable the Parliament to express its views on the Scottish Ministers’ future expenditure priorities. Stage 2 is a consideration by the Parliament of the Scottish Ministers’ detailed spending proposals for the next financial year. Stage 3 is parliamentary consideration of the annual budget bill.

Standards and Public Appointments Committee

A mandatory committee of the Parliament, of 7 members, the remit of which is to consider and report on 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; the adoption, amendment and application of any Code of Conduct for members; and matters relating to public appointments in Scotland. 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. The committee must be established within 21 sitting days of a Scottish Parliament election. Until 18 March 2005, this committee was known as the Standards Committee. Merged with the Procedures Committee on 27 September 2007.

Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee

Formed as a result of the merger between the Standards and Public Appointments Committee and the Procedures Committee on 27 September 2007. A mandatory Committee of 7 members. The remit of the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee is to consider and report on the practice and procedures of the Parliament in relation to its business; 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; the adoption, amendment and application of any Code of Conduct for members; and matters relating to public appointments in Scotland. 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 (SOs)

The rules governing how the Parliament conducts its business.

statement

An oral contribution during a meeting of the Parliament that does not arise out of a question or motion before the Parliament. It does not include points of order, Time for Reflection or remarks from the Chair. The main examples are personal statements and ministerial statements. In a more technical sense, ‘statement’ has the same meaning for the purposes of the Standing Orders as it has in section 17(1) of the Defamation Act 1996, that is, words, pictures, visual images, gestures or any other method of signifying meaning.

statute law repeals bill

A bill to repeal legislation that has become obsolete or otherwise unnecessary following recommendations from the Scottish Law Commission.

statute law repeals committee

A committee established by the Parliament to consider a statute law repeals bill.

statute law revision bill

A bill whose purpose is to revise statute law both by repealing laws no longer in force or which have become unnecessary and by re-enacting provisions of UK Acts or Acts of the Scottish Parliament which have otherwise become spent (rule 9.20).

statute law revision committee

A committee established by the Parliament to consider a statute law revision bill.

statutory instrument

The main form for legislation made by Ministers and others under powers delegated by an Act.

Strategic Leadership Team

The group comprising the Clerk/Chief Executive, three Assistant Clerk/Chief Executives and the Solicitor to the Parliament. The remit of the group is to prepare final proposals for the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body on the budget, strategic plan and staffing. The group also has shared corporate responsibilities on the delivery of the strategic plan, striving for excellence in parliamentary service, corporate culture, raising parliamentary awareness and monitoring budget and key performance indicators.

sub judice rule

This rule requires that a matter in relation to which legal proceedings are active (as defined in rule 7.5.2) may not be referred to in proceedings of the Parliament, except in so far as is permitted by the Presiding Officer. The rule does not itself prevent the Parliament from legislating about any matter.

sub-committee

A body established by a parliamentary committee, with the approval of the Parliament, to consider and report to the committee on a matter within its remit. Normally, only members of the committee (other than committee substitutes) may be members of its sub-committees. The duration of a sub-committee is decided by the Parliament on a motion of the Parliamentary Bureau.

subject committee

A committee, other than a mandatory committee, established by the Parliament to deal with a particular subject.

subordinate legislation

Legislation made by a Minister or another authorised person, using powers granted under primary legislation, such as an Act.

Subordinate Legislation Committee

A mandatory committee of the Parliament, of 7 members, the remit of which is to consider and report on subordinate legislation laid before the Parliament, any Scottish Statutory Instrument not laid before the Parliament but classed as general according to its subject matter, and, in particular, to determine whether the attention of Parliament should be drawn to any of the matters mentioned in Rule 10.3.1; proposed powers to make subordinate legislation in particular Bills or other proposed legislation; general questions relating to powers to make subordinate legislation; and whether any proposed delegated powers in particular Bills or other legislation should be expressed as a power to make subordinate legislation. The committee must be established within 21 sitting days of a Scottish Parliament election.

super-affirmative procedure

This procedure provides for a greater degree of parliamentary scrutiny than is the case with instruments subject to ordinary affirmative resolution procedures. With orders subject to super-affirmative procedure, the Parliament is given the opportunity to comment on the proposals for a draft instrument before the instrument is laid and Ministers have to make a statement on how the Parliament's comments have been reflected in the instrument when it is formally laid.

Support Fund - Employees and Contingencies

Under the members' allowances scheme, the fund from which a number of employee and local office support costs are met.

suspension of the Standing Orders

A mechanism to allow normal rules to be dispensed with or varied.