Holyrood’s working practices during pandemic to be reviewed

A committee is calling for views as it examines the Scottish Parliament's procedures over the last seven months.

Holyrood’s working practices during pandemic to be reviewed Getty Images

MSPs will hold an inquiry into the Scottish Parliament’s working practices during the coronavirus pandemic with a view to making permanent changes to its rules.

Holyrood’s standards, procedures and public appointments Committee will examine procedures over the past seven months and is calling for views to be submitted.

The inquiry will recommend changes to parliamentary standing orders to allow laws to continue to be enacted in future “challenging situations”.

It will also look into the parliament’s ability to scrutinise the work of the Scottish Government in the context of Covid-19.

Much of Holyrood’s business has moved online since the onset of the virus, with committees held virtually and MSPs able to join sessions in the chamber by video link.

Committee convener Bill Kidd said: “The past seven months have seen extraordinary changes to the working practices of the Scottish Parliament – changes that had to be made urgently through absolute necessity.

“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.”

Deputy convener Patrick Harvie said: “Having the opportunity to scrutinise the government of the day and hold it to account is vital.

“It’s important, therefore, we look back on the last seven months and learn from that experience what worked well, what should be replicated and what can be improved upon as a parliament.”

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