Standing orders set out the high-level rules that govern the budget process, but specific details are covered in the written agreement between the Finance and Constitution Committee and the Scottish Government.
Following the update to the written agreement, the
Finance and Constitution Committee asked the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee to propose changes to standing orders, to ensure that the Parliament’s rules accurately reflect the budget process.
We propose several changes. We recommend that parliamentary time is set aside for a committee debate prior to the stage 1 debate on the budget bill. That is a feature of the new budget process.
We propose an update to the rules on the timing of budget bills, to reflect the fact that the budget bill will normally be published prior to the Christmas recess.
We propose new deadlines for the lodging of amendments to the budget bill. Normally, the Parliament is asked to vary the standing orders to extend the deadline for amendments to the budget bill; the proposed new rules set out more realistic lodging deadlines. Our suggested rule changes will also remove a requirement to lay certain reports and financial documents, which are no longer required under the new budget process.
Finally, there are minor consequential changes to other rules, for example to update the remits of committees to reflect the new budget process.
The committee thinks that it is important that standing orders accurately reflect how the Parliament’s new budget scrutiny arrangements will work in practice, so I am pleased to propose the changes that I have set out.
That the Parliament notes the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee’s 1st Report 2018 (Session 5), Budget Process—Standing Order rule changes (SP Paper 308), and agrees that the changes to Standing Orders set out in Annexe A of the report be made with effect from 9 May 2018.