MSPs to examine COVID adaptations for parliamentary scrutiny
MSPs are to investigate whether to make some of the changes to the way the Scottish Parliament is working in the context of the coronavirus pandemic permanent.
The Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee is to examine the resilience of parliament’s practices and procedures, as well as possible further adaptations which could be made.
The pandemic has seen the establishment of virtual and hybrid meetings of the chamber and committees to continue scrutiny of the Scottish Government over recent months.
But there have also been some concerns about limitations on parliament’s ability to hold the government to account on decisions made in response to COVID-19.
Committee convener Bill Kidd said: “This inquiry will seek to evaluate the effectiveness of Holyrood’s recent working practices and review our capacity to scrutinise the government and to hold it to account during this time of crisis.
“Our intention will be to make procedural recommendations that promote the future resilience of the Parliament.”
The committee is also seeking views on how changes have impacted the accessibility of parliament and lessons to be learned about the parliament’s capacity to scrutinise.
The closing date for submissions is Monday 9 November.
It follows the presiding officer, Ken MacIntosh, recently writing to each of the political parties urging them to consider how best to involve MSPs in scrutinising the decisions taken by ministers.
He said it was “time for the parliament to reassert its role in holding the government to account”.