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1. This concordat sets out the working practices which the Department for Culture, Media and Sport ("DCMS") and the Scottish Executive will aim to follow in order to ensure a close and effective working relationship. It supplements the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the United Kingdom and the Office of the Scottish Executive, as well as the Agreement on the Joint Ministerial Committee the Concordat on Co-ordination of European Union Policy Issues, the Concordat on International Relations, the Concordat on Statistics and the Concordat on Financial Assistance to Industry (all attached at Annex B).
2. This concordat is not intended to constitute a legally enforceable contract or to create any rights or obligations which are legally enforceable. It is intended to be a broad guidance document, binding in honour only, and not an exhaustive text of those issues which might arise.
General liaison and sharing of information
3. The Scotland Act 1998 provides for the transfer of Ministerial functions relating to devolved matters in or as regards Scotland to the Scottish Ministers. Ministerial functions relating to reserved matters in Scotland will continue to be exercised by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport ("the Secretary of State"), unless devolved under an Executive Devolution Order (see paras 20 and 21).
4. Both administrations are committed to the principle of good communications as set out in the Memorandum of Understanding and recognise that good communications systems are essential in order to assist the process of policy formulation and decision-making in each administration and to meet any consultation or other requirements there may be in respect of the exercise of a function. The Secretary of State and the Scottish Ministers therefore agree to keep each other informed of developments in policy and practice in respect of matters within their respective responsibilities, including proposals for legislation and other initiatives, and other issues likely to be of interest to each other. They also recognise that there will be mutual benefit from the exchange of information on scientific, technical and, where appropriate, policy matters.
5. These arrangements will be of general assistance in ensuring that the Secretary of State and the Scottish Ministers are kept in touch with developments affecting matters that are devolved in Scotland. However, the Scottish Ministers recognise the particular need to ensure that the Secretary of State is kept informed of any developments in Scotland which may impact upon his responsibilities in reserved areas. Similarly, the Secretary of State also recognises the need to keep the Scottish Ministers informed of developments in respect of reserved matters that may impact upon their devolved responsibilities.
6. The Secretary of State and the Scottish Ministers accordingly undertake to:
- share information and analysis, where this would be of mutual benefit;
- inform each other of any relevant information which comes to their attention and which may affect the work of the other party;
- seek to involve each other at the earliest stages of policy formation on all topics where there is a reasonable expectation that a policy initiative might be extended to cover, or might affect, the other's responsibilities;
- inform each other at the earliest practicable stage of any proposal to change primary or secondary legislation which has potential implications for the other's responsibilities, and to highlight these implications;
- inform each other at the earliest practicable stage of substantive new policy announcements which may be relevant to the other's responsibilities; and
- ensure that both parties are kept abreast of developments in policy, practice and legislation, including discussions with third parties, in areas where there is, or could be, an interface.