Chapter 15 Government Business and Constitutional Relations
The Government Business and Constitutional Relations portfolio has a crucial role in seeking to ensure UK-EU negotiations, and necessary preparations for the UK's exit from the EU, are undertaken in a way that protects Scotland's interests and mitigates the damaging effects of EU Exit as far as it is possible to do so.
This portfolio is responsible for the management of the government's legislative programme and business in Parliament, for policy on Freedom of Information and open government, and for Royal and Ceremonial functions within Scotland.
The portfolio also covers Scottish parliamentary and local government elections and leads on delivering the Scottish Government's commitment to support the Armed Forces and Veterans community in Scotland.
We support the effective conduct of government business which has a positive contribution to all outcomes in the National Performance Framework, and particularly contribute to Scotland being connected and making a positive contribution internationally.
In 2019-20 we will:
- Engage in negotiations on the UK's future relationship with the EU, seeking to protect and promote Scottish interests and to develop opportunities for Scotland to continue to collaborate with EU partners.
- Work towards our commitment to ensuring access to democratic participation for all residents of Scotland, including introduction of an Electoral Franchise Bill, ensuring that current EU citizens who live in Scotland can continue to vote in Scottish Parliament and local government elections.
- Continue to pursue our ambition for a society founded on fairness and equality through our democratic frameworks, bringing forward legislation to modernise the approach to parliamentary and local elections.
- Further our work to bring improvements in the way we respond to Freedom of Information requests, working with the Scottish Information Commissioner to build on work undertaken last year.
- Work towards our ambition to be an open and connected government through delivering Scotland's second Open Government Action Plan, and make a positive contribution internationally through our membership of the Open Government Partnership, a collaboration of governments around the world progressing the values of openness, transparency and citizen participation.
- Continue to work across the Scottish Government to respond to the recommendations of the Scottish Veterans Commissioner's reports, progress the new UK-wide Veterans Strategy, and ensure that there is no disadvantage when accessing services and support. We will also maintain funding for the Scottish Veterans Commissioner to challenge and scrutinise our policy delivery, and continue to support veterans' charities and organisations, primarily through the Scottish Veterans Fund.
The veterans budget is the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretary for Government Business and Constitutional Relations and the Minister for Parliamentary Business and Veterans, but is held within the Justice portfolio.
The Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland will review the ward boundaries in the local authority areas which include islands, as required by the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018.
What the Government Business and Constitutional Relations budget does
- Supports the provision of social research and analysis to improve policy development and implementation focusing on cross-cutting and topical issues.
- Covers Royal and Ceremonial events and tasks within Scotland.
- Supports the Electoral Management Board to promote best practice and value for money in elections in Scotland.
- Provides funding for the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland.
- Provides for extending the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 to cover housing associations.
- Supports the policy and coordination work of the portfolio.
Government Business And Constitutional Relations
Table 15.01: Spending Plans (Level 2)
|Level 2|| 2017-18
|Government Business and Constitutional Relations||2.9||2.4||12.1|
|Total Government Business and Constitutional Relations||2.9||2.4||12.1|
|Total Fiscal Resource||2.9||2.4||12.1|
|of which Operating Costs*||–||–||9.9|
* In 2019-20, there is a change to the way that Scottish Government staffing budgets are presented and total operating costs are now included within portfolio budgets. This is set out in more detail in the Annex on operating costs.
|Total Limit on Income (accruing resources)||–|
Table 15.02: Government Business Spending Plans (Level 3)
|Office of the Chief Researcher||0.8||0.8||0.6|
|Royal and Ceremonial||0.3||0.6||0.4|
|Local Government Elections||1.0||0.4||0.4|
|Scottish Parliamentary Elections||0.6||0.2||0.2|
|Extension of Freedom of Information coverage||–||–||0.1|
|Government Business and Constitutional Relations Policy and Coordination||–||–||9.9|
|Total Government Business||2.9||2.4||12.1|
|UK Funded AME||–||–||–|
See footnote on operating costs in Table 15.01.
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