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UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Act 2021

Section 30 - Improvement plan

129.Section 30 sets out the obligation and procedure for the Scottish Ministers to prepare an improvement plan in response to Environmental Standards Scotland laying an improvement report before the Scottish Parliament in accordance with section 29.

130.Subsection (1) establishes the requirement on Scottish Ministers to prepare an improvement plan in response to an improvement report. The obligation to prepare an improvement plan always falls on the Scottish Ministers, even if the improvement report concerns a failure that is attributable to another public authority.

131.Subsection (2) provides for the details of the improvement plan, which must include information on what the Scottish Ministers will do in response to the recommendations in the improvement report. This should include, the proposed timescale to implement the recommendations and the arrangements that will be made to review and report on progress in the implementation of the recommendations. However, if the Scottish Ministers do not intend to implement the recommendations in the improvement report (either in full or in part), the reasons for this must be set out in the improvement plan.

132.Subsection (3) states that the Scottish Ministers must lay a copy of the improvement plan before the Scottish Parliament within a set time period from the date the improvement report was laid: six months, or nine months if the Scottish Ministers consider it necessary to consult other persons (or the general public) about the plan.

133.Subsection (4) requires the Scottish Ministers to provide the Parliament with details of any consultation carried out under subsection (3) when laying an improvement plan. The Scottish Ministers must provide a summary of any views expressed in response to the consultation and provide further detail of how any views have been taken into account. A statement must also be provided confirming if no views were expressed or if no account has been taken of views expressed.

134.Subsections (5) and (6) require the Scottish Ministers to review and revise the improvement plan laid before the Parliament under subsection (3) if the Scottish Parliament has within 40 days resolved not to approve the plan. The Scottish Ministers must lay a copy of the revised improvement plan within three months of the date on which the Parliament resolved not to approve the plan. This process of revision and resubmission continues until a plan is accepted by the Parliament.

135.Once the Parliament has approved an improvement plan, subsection (7) requires the Scottish Ministers to publish the plan.

136.Subsection (8) provides that no account is to be taken of any period during which the Parliament is dissolved or in recess for more than 4 days when calculating the 40-day period mentioned in subsection (5).

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