This statutory instrument was made under section 93 of the Scotland Act 1998 and it was laid before this Parliament on 10 June. Its purpose is to allow ministers of the Crown to enter into agency agreements with the Scottish Ministers to allow for particular functions of one to be exercised by the other and vice versa.
That the Parliament considers the Scotland Act 1998 (Agency Arrangements) (Specification) Order 1999.
Will Mr McCabe explain why in this motion we in this Parliament are apparently being allowed to skive off on 30 November, when everybody else in Scotland will be at work? Will he confirm that it does not signify support on the part of the Executive for the misguided campaign to make 30 November a national holiday? In Scotland we may need to rationalise our timetable of local and national holidays, but the last thing that people in Scotland need is a holiday in the middle of the week on a dreich day in November.
The debate at the Parliamentary Bureau did not mention the words skiving off. It is recognised that it is not a holiday. There was a feeling within the bureau that it would be good to mark that particular day. However, the office of the clerk is open; members are not on holiday and are still able to carry out a variety of their functions.
That the Parliament agrees that-
(a) the Office of the Clerk should be open on each of the following days:
5 July to 9 July; 12 July to 16 July; 19 July to 23 July; 26 July to 30 July; 2 August to 6 August; 9 August to 13 August; 16 August to 20 August; 23 August to 27 August; 30 August to 3 September; 6 September to 10 September; 13 September to 12.30 pm on 17 September; 21 September to 24 September; 27 September to 1 October; 4 October to 8 October; 11 October to 15 October; 18 October to 22 October; 25 October to 29 October; 1
(b) the autumn recess should begin on 11 October and end on 24 October and the Christmas recess should begin on 20 December 1999 and should end on 9 January 2000 and
(c) there will be no meeting of the Parliament or of any committee on 30 November 1999.