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Scotland Act 1998

Details of Provisions

Subsection (1) provides for the establishment of an office of Queen’s Printer for Scotland (QPS). The QPS is responsible for exercising the functions of the Queen’s Printer in relation to Acts of the Scottish Parliament and subordinate legislation and any other statutory functions conferred on the QPS

The intention is to ensure that the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Administration have an appropriate degree of policy control over the arrangements for publication and printing of Acts of the Scottish Parliament and material produced by the Scottish Administration.

The Queen’s Printer of Acts of Parliament is, by virtue of the Letters Patent by which she is appointed, responsible for exercising all of Her Majesty’s rights and privileges in respect of copyright.  The Office of Queen’s Printer of Acts of Parliament is held by a civil servant in the UK Government, appointed on recommendation by the head of the Home Civil Service and effectively subject to policy directions given by the UK government.  It was considered inappropriate for the question as to how “Scottish works” may be published to be subject to the control of the Queen’s Printer acting in accordance with policy arrangements laid down by the UK Government with expenditure being met from the Consolidated Fund and income being accountable to that Fund.

The functions of the QPS, as set out in subsection (3), are to be responsible for exercising printing functions in relation to ASPs and devolved subordinate legislation and to exercise all rights and privileges of Her Majesty in respect of copyright in “Scottish works” such as Acts of the Scottish Parliament, subordinate legislation and any other works copyright in which belongs to Her Majesty where Her Majesty has acquired that copyright for the purposes of or in connection with the functions of any part of the Scottish Administration.

Subsection (5) provides that the QPS is to be the same person who holds office as the Queen’s Printer.  The Queen’s Printer also holds the office of Government Printer for Northern Ireland.  This will ensure a degree of consistency and coherence in the approach taken to the publication of statute law in the UK and the administration of the rules of Crown copyright.

As a Scottish public authority and part of the Scottish Administration, the Parliament will have competence in relation to the funding and receipts of the QPS and so any expenditure in connection with the QPS functions could be met out of the Scottish Consolidated Fund (SCF) and any receipts paid into the SCF.  The Scottish Parliament is able to legislate to confer functions on QPS in addition to those conferred by the Act and could provide for the Scottish Ministers to give directions in connection with the exercise of those functions.  This enables the Parliament to make provision as to the numbering and citation of Acts of the Scottish Parliament.  The Parliament will also be able to summon the QPS.

Further functions in connection with the printing of Acts of the Scottish Parliament and the numbering and printing etc. of Scottish Statutory Instruments are conferred on the Queen’s Printer for Scotland by the Scotland Act 1998 (Transitory and Transitional Provisions)(Publication and Interpretation etc. of Acts of the Scottish Parliament) Order 1999 (S.I. 1999/1379) and the Scotland Act 1998 (Transitory and Transitional Provisions)(Statutory Instruments) Order 1999 (S.I. 1999/1096).

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