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Scotland Act 1998

Part I, Paragraph 8: Public Service
Purpose and Effect

This paragraph reserves matters relating to the Civil Service, subject to certain exceptions.


Section 51 provides for the staff of the Scottish Administration to be members of the Home Civil Service, as are the statutory office-holders in the Scottish Administration (see section 126(6)).  It also makes provision for their salaries, allowances and pensions.

Details of Provisions

Paragraph 8(1) states that the Civil Service of the State is a reserved matter.  The Civil Service includes the Home Civil Service and the Diplomatic Service.  The effect is that the Scottish Parliament is not able to legislate about matters relating to Civil Servants in Scotland, including their recruitment, selection, management, conduct, discipline, numbers, grading and terms and conditions of service.  Matters relating to Civil Service pensions are reserved by Section F3 in Part II of the Schedule.

The Home Civil Service is ultimately regulated by the Royal Prerogative, and its management has been delegated to the Minister for the Civil Service.  The Civil Service Management Code is issued under the authority of the Civil Service Order in Council 1995.  Under the Civil Service (Management Functions) Act 1992, the Minister for the Civil Service has further delegated management functions to Ministers and office holders in charge of Departments.  These include the authority to prescribe qualifications for appointment as Civil Servants, to determine the number and grading of posts (outside the Senior Civil Service) in such Departments and a wide range of other management functions. Those functions, which were delegated to the Secretary of State for Scotland in respect of Civil Servants who become staff of the Scottish Executive, have been delegated to the Scottish Ministers.  This is provided for in section 51(4) and (6).


The subject-matter of the following enactments is excepted from the reservation:


Part I of the Sheriff Courts and Legal Officers (Scotland) Act 1927.  This deals with the appointment of sheriff clerks, procurators fiscal and their deputies; and


Part III of the Administration of Justice (Scotland) Act 1933.  This deals with the appointment and terms and conditions of service of officers of the High Court of Justiciary and the Court of Session, including the Principal Clerk of Justiciary, the Accountant of Court and Auditor of the Court of Session, staff in the Justiciary Office and the Court of Session, and Macers.

The officers concerned are already civil servants and by virtue of the Act continue to be members of the Home Civil Service.  However, there are certain specialities of appointment and terms and conditions of service of such court staff which distinguish them from other civil servants and which are peculiarly Scottish, making it appropriate that legislative competence over these aspects should be not be reserved.  See also the amendments to the 1927 and 1933 Acts in paragraphs 3 and 4 of Schedule 8.

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