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Scotland Act 2012

Section 4: Presiding Officer and deputies

28.This section amends section 19 of the 1998 Act to allow the Parliament, at any time, to elect one or more deputies in addition to the two deputies who have to be appointed by virtue of section 19(1). This will allow the Parliament to elect additional deputies if and when it is appropriate, for example, if a deputy or the Presiding Officer is ill. These additional deputies may hold office for a shorter period than deputies appointed under section 19(1) (see subsection (4)).

29.This section also relaxes the existing requirement in section 19(1) on the Parliament to appoint a Presiding Officer and two deputies at its first meeting. Instead, it requires that the Parliament must appoint these officers before it conducts any other proceedings (other than its members taking the oath of allegiance) and, in any event, within 14 days of the election.

30.This section also amends Schedule 3 to the 1998 Act to require the standing orders to make provision to ensure that all the available officers (that is, those of the Presiding Officer and the deputies who are at any time able to act) do not all represent the same political party.

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