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Scotland Act 1998

Details of Provisions

Subsection (1) requires the Parliament to make provision for the investigation of “relevant” complaints made to members about any action taken by or on behalf of a member of the Scottish Executive in the exercise of functions conferred on the Scottish Ministers, or by or on behalf of any other office-holder in the Scottish Administration.

Subsection (2) defines what is a “relevant complaint”. The Parliament’s duty extends to providing for the investigation of those kinds of complaints which could be investigated under the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967. This, for example, specifically excludes complaints relating to the commencement or conduct of civil or criminal proceedings before any court of law in the United Kingdom.

Subsection (3) provides that the Parliament may make provision for the investigation of complaints in respect of:


any action taken by or on behalf of an office-holder in the Scottish Administration;


any action taken by or on behalf of the Parliamentary corporation;


any action taken by or on behalf of a Scottish public authority with mixed functions or no reserved functions; and


any action concerning Scotland and not relating to reserved matters which is taken by or on behalf of a cross-border public authority.

Subsection (4) read together with subsection (6) requires the Parliament, in making provision under subsection (1), to have regard among other things to the provisions of the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967 as it has effect on the commencement of this section.

Subsection (5) provides that certain sections of the Act related to the transfer of functions to the Scottish Ministers will not apply to functions conferred by or under the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967. The relevant sections are:

53General transfer of functions;
117Ministers of the Crown;
118Subordinate legislation;
119Consolidated Fund, etc.;
121Requirements to lay reports etc. before Parliament.

Subsection (6) defines “action” in this context as including failure to act, and defines “provision” in this context as provision by an Act of the Scottish Parliament.

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