Please note that the Scottish Parliament is not responsible for the content of any external websites.
If you have an issue that you want to raise, it is important to make sure that the right person gets to hear about it. The leaflet MSPs, MPs, MEPs, councillors - who does what? may help you decide who to contact. This publication outlines the roles and responsibilities of the different organisations that influence the lives of people in Scotland and provides useful contact details.
Each person in Scotland is represented in the Scottish Parliament by one constituency MSP and seven regional MSPs.
You can use the postcode search on our homepage to find out who your constituency and regional MSPs are. (You can use the Royal Mail postcode finder to check your postcode.) You can access information about each MSP, including contact details, by clicking on his/her name on the results webpage.
You can also find the names of your MSPs and their email addresses in the Your MSPs booklet for your region.
You can also get a list of your MSPs' names by texting your postcode to 07786 209 888.
If a bill is still in progress through the Scottish Parliament, you can express your concerns about it and attempt to change its provisions. There are various points at which you can do this. When and how you do this depends on the type of bill.
Information on how to contribute to the process of scrutinising and amending bills introduced by the Scottish Government (which are known as Government bills) is available in Amendments to Executive Bills: Guidance (60KB pdf) on the website. (Prior to 3 July 2012, Government bills were referred to as Executive bills.) The Scottish Government is responsible for most of the bills introduced to the Parliament. Other types of public bill, such as committee bills and members' bills, follow procedures similar to those for Government bills.
Information on how to object to a private bill is available in Information for Objectors to Private Bills. Details of the procedures for scrutinising private bills are available in the Guidance on Private Bills in the Parliamentary Procedure section of the website.
Someone who is not an MSP can introduce a private bill, but the purpose of such a bill is limited. The purpose of a private bill is to obtain for the individual or corporation proposing it specific powers that go beyond or conflict with the general law. A member of the public cannot introduce a bill to change the general law that applies across Scotland, for example, concerning health, education or housing.
For members of the public who wish to see changes to the general law, there are several ways to make their concerns known. These include:
- contacting their MSPs (for example, an MSP could introduce a member’s bill or take the proposal to a committee which might bring forward a committee bill)
- submitting a petition asking the Parliament to amend an existing law or introduce a new law.
Further information on petitioning the Parliament is available in Petitioning the Scottish Parliament.
Only MSPs and witnesses can take part in committee meetings. Subject to the availability of tickets, members of the public can attend all committee business that is not held in private, but they are not able to take part in the discussions unless they have been invited by the committee to give evidence as a witness.
Individuals or organisations with expertise in any of the devolved areas can register as a potential adviser to the Scottish Parliament’s committees to assist them with their inquiries.
Any group or individual member of the public can submit a petition to the Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee. Further information on how to do this is available in the document Petitioning the Scottish Parliament.
The committee will consider how to respond to the petition. There are a number of options open to the Public Petitions Committee including:
- forwarding the petition to another parliamentary committee for consideration
- forwarding the petition to an external organisation e.g. a local authority.
Scottish Parliament committees frequently consult the public when conducting inquiries into issues of concern or considering the general principles of a bill at Stage 1. Details of current Scottish Parliament consultations are available on our website.
The Scottish Government also carries out consultation exercises, which allow you to express your opinions on proposals. Information about the Scottish Government's consultation process and details of its current and forthcoming consultations can be found in the Consultations section of the Scottish Government's website.
Cross-Party Groups provide an opportunity for MSPs of all parties and members of the public and outside organisations to meet and discuss a shared interest in a particular cause or subject. A list of Cross-Party Groups is published on our website. By clicking on the name of a group on this list, you can find out about its purpose, its membership and who you should contact for more information.
The Scottish Parliament does not currently accept requests to hold events for commercial purposes. All events that take place at Holyrood must have a key link to the business and priorities of the Parliament and require sponsorship from an MSP, a committee or a Parliament office.
Further information can be found in the Events section.
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, which came into force on 1 January 2005, entitles any person that requests information held by a Scottish public authority to receive it, unless that information is subject to any of the exemptions contained in the Act. The Scottish Parliament is among the public authorities subject to the Act.
The Parliament already publishes much of the information it creates, mostly on its website, and its Publication Scheme lists all the categories of information it makes available.
Details of our publication scheme and forms for requesting information that is not in the scheme can be found in the Freedom of Information section of our website.
We are happy for external bodies to provide a link to the Scottish Parliament website, but we are not normally able to reciprocate. The limited links that we currently carry are to other parliaments and to MSP websites.
We do not have an in-house magazine for staff and MSPs or a notice board on which members of the public can display messages or adverts within the Scottish Parliament. We are also unable to circulate emails concerning non-parliamentary matters.