Parliament staff work in the following offices:
The Allowances Office is responsible for the administration of the Members' Expenses Scheme. The scheme covers:
- the reimbursement of travel and overnight expenses to Members and their support staff
- the payment of expenditure incurred by Members as a result of running a local constituency or regional office and carrying out their Parliamentary duties.
The provision of mobile phones to Members and their support staff is also administered by the Allowances Office.
In addition, the Allowances Office also processes and pays business travel and expenses claims to Parliament staff and manages the payments made to the Parliament's travel agent (Carlson Wagonlit), overnight hotel costs and car-hire invoices.
Broadcasting and Production Services Office
This office is responsible for:
- the generation and distribution of all of Parliament's audio-visual output from the Chamber and six committee rooms.
- supplying pictures for the main television companies.
- ensuring broadcasters use the pictures provided in line with the Parliament's Rules of Coverage.
- providing Parliament with its sound and electronic-voting system and supplying a range of visual material with much of it packaged into existing edited videos which promote and explain the work of the Parliament for MSPs and outside organisations.
- seeking ways in which new digital technologies can improve the service and make it available to a wider audience. This includes further development of the Parliament's internet broadcasting service.
Business Information Technology
The Business Information Technology (BIT) Office enable and support the business of the Parliament through the effective and efficient delivery of innovative technology services and solutions.
The BIT Office is responsible for providing the technological infrastructure, systems, services and applications that are required to support and enable the business of the Parliament, and the administration of the organisation. These services are primarily provided at, and from, the Parliament building in Edinburgh. BIT also supports and enables Members’ Offices throughout Scotland.
The Chamber Office provides:
- direct support to the Presiding Officer and Deputy Presiding Officers for all meetings of the Parliament, including briefings and procedural advice in the Chamber.
- links with Business Managers and supports the debate management and running of votes in meetings of parliament.
The Chamber Office is responsible for:
- processing all written and oral parliamentary questions, including First Minister's Question Time, and for producing the Written Answers Report
- advising members on the admissibility of motions and amendments for debate.
Different teams within the office act as clerks to:
- the Parliamentary Bureau
- the Subordinate Legislation Committee
providing advice on policy, procedural and administrative matters. The Non-Government Bills Unit provide support to members and Committees in connection with proposals for Members Bills and Committee Bills.
The Legislation Team supports the drafting of amendments to Bills and the management of the Bills process and liaises with the Scottish Government and others to ensure Bills as introduced to the parliament comply with the requirement of Standing Orders.
Clerk/Chief Executive’s Office
- acts as a central support to the Chief Executive, liaising with MSPs, Assistant Chief Executives, staff and external bodies.
- provides a full secretariat service to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, the Advisery Audit Board and the Leadership Group, supporting their operations, development and forward planning.
- oversees the activities of the Leadership Academy Network, which consists of the organisation's senior and middle management.
- co-ordinates all aspects of business continuity management across the organisation.
- deals with many corporate matters and co-ordinates issues of a cross-cutting nature such as internal communications.
The Committee Office provides clerking and administrative support to 13 of the Parliament's 14 committees, supporting the conveners and members in undertaking the full range of committee functions including the conduct of inquiries and the consideration of subordinate legislation and Bills.
The clerks are responsible for advising the committees on the application of procedures and, in particular, on the application of Standing Orders. The office also provides clerking services to the Committee Conveners' Group, at which Conveners meet to discuss matters of common interest to the functioning of Committees.
Events and Exhibitions Team
The Events and Exhibitions Team is responsible for:
- the development of policy on events and exhibitions for the Scottish Parliament.
- co-ordination, planning, organisation and delivery of all events and exhibitions that take place at the Parliament. This includes developing and facilitating a programme of major parliamentary events such as the Festival of Politics and major temporary public exhibitions
- supporting all MSP-sponsored events and exhibitions which provide an opportunity for a wide range of local and national groups to engage with MSPs.
- the Parliament's collection of contemporary art and crafts. Work involves the security and care of the collection and providing information to the public. Further information can be found on our Artwork pages.
- The Festival of Politics aims to engage people politically through a diverse range of events. All the festivals to date have been highly successful bringing together the worlds of politics, media and the arts.
The Facilities Management Office is responsible for managing all aspects of the Parliament's buildings and accommodation and for many of the services and facilities that support MSPs, their staff and Parliament staff in their work.
We contract-manage a diverse range of services provided by external suppliers to support the Parliament's activities. These include cleaning, catering, support services (porterage, event set up etc.) and maintenance. We also provide in-house services such as mail delivery and helpdesk services.
Through its Helpdesk, the office provides facilities to book car-parking spaces meeting rooms and equipment required to host Parliamentary meetings. The Helpdesk is also the one-stop shop within the Parliament should Members or staff, wish to report any faults or service problems.
Our in-house experts have responsibility for advising on health and safety, fire safety management and environmental performance issues
The Building Management Team provides a full range of building and estate management services aimed at ensuring that the fabric and systems of this unique and symbolic building are well maintained.
The Finance Office is responsible for operating, maintaining and developing financial systems and controls that support the Parliament's operations and which deliver financial probity and propriety.
The Finance Office undertakes the normal functions associated with a centralised finance department. These include:
- treasury management
- the processing and payment of supplier invoices
- issuing of sales invoices and receiving payment
- statutory returns (VAT,CIS etc)
- recording fixed assets
- setting and monitoring of budgets
- an extensive range of finance support services
- preparation of annual accounts.
Human Resources Office
The Human Resources Office is responsible for providing a full range of human resource management services for MSPs and their staff and SPCB staff. The HR Office comprises four functional areas:
- Organisational Development;
- HR Services;
- Pay and Pensions Services and
- HR Systems.
Information Management and Governance
The Information Management and Governance Team provides advice and guidance on all aspects of records management, information management, freedom of information, data protection and copyright.
Internal Audit and Risk Management
The internal audit office has overall responsibility for providing the Clerk/Chief Executive, the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body and Audit Advisory Board with independent assurance on the adequacy and effectiveness of internal control processes, including the management of risk, in operation throughout the Parliament.
International Relations Office
The International Relations Office is responsible for co-ordinating and organising delegation visits to the Scottish Parliament from other legislatures, governments and international organisations. It helps the Parliament to develop and implement its approach to links with the wider world.
It also supports the Scottish Parliament's Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and assists MSPs who are members of interparliamentary and international organisations.
Media Relations Office
The Media Relations Office provides information to press and broadcast journalists on the wide-ranging work of the Parliament.
The aim of the office is to communicate effectively with the public via the media on a diverse range of topics, from publicising a parliamentary committee report to promoting events at the Parliament.
The most recent news releases produced by the media team are available on the home page of the Parliament website.
The Official Report is the written record of everything that is said in public meetings of the Scottish Parliament and its committees. It includes debates, statements, questions, votes and evidence given to committees.
An Official Report of a meeting of the Parliament is published in sections throughout the afternoon, and the full report is available on the same day. Committee Official Reports are published according to an agreed schedule.
Outreach Services develop and deliver a range of educational services to support MSPs and to enable the people of Scotland to engage with the Parliament.
Our services support and deliver on the activities and plans in the Public Engagement Strategy; they are delivered at the Parliament building at Holyrood and in local venues across Scotland.
We lead on the development and delivery of Parliament Days. We work with our colleagues in Committees and Outreach Group to support committees’ public engagement initiatives.
Our services are provided in Gaelic and we are responsible for implementing the SPCB’s Gaelic Language Plan.
Our approach for young people focuses on citizenship education to support the Curriculum for Excellence and includes:
- inward education programme of visits, tours and workshops
- outreach education visits delivered by staff and providing support to MSPs to meet pupils in school
- innovative and imaginative resources for learning and teaching about the Parliament and to support Members own outreach
- seminars and other CPD opportunities for teachers
- events for young people
- peer education programme for 16 to 25 year olds.
Presiding Officers’ Office
The office provides advice and support to the Presiding Officer to enable her to carry out her Parliamentary duties effectively. This includes close liaison with Members and staff of the Parliament on a wide range of Parliamentary issues. Similar support is also provided to the Deputy Presiding Officers.
Procurement Services provides the Parliament with its goods, services and works. The team aims to purchase in a professional and responsible manner, taking account of:
- environmental impact
- social and ethical issues
- small & medium-sized enterprises
- the "social economy".
- develops procurement policies and procedures
- ensures that best overall value for money is achieved (in terms of whole-life costs)
- manages the system for contractor performance.
The team is also responsible for ensuring
- all procurement is carried out with propriety
- is compliant with relevant legislation
- appropriate contractual arrangements are put in place.
The procurement team acts in an open, accessible and transparent manner, both in its dealings with suppliers and by placing as much information as possible on the Parliament's website.
Public Information and Resources
Public Information and Resources:
- answers enquiries from the public and provides information on the Scottish Parliament, its business, membership and procedures
- staffs the Parliament’s switchboard and handles around 50,000 calls and 7,000 enquiries every year by telephone, email, Live Chat, letter and text message
- produces information resources in different languages and formats
- administers the Parliament's complaints procedures and the SPCB Language Policy including the British Sign Language (BSL) Plan
- is the first point of contact for information and requests in all languages other than Gaelic
- produces the SPCB Annual Report
- manages the Parliament's Design and Digital Production contract, assisting offices throughout the Parliament in producing digital and printed amterials for a range of different audiences
- provides guidance and approval on the use of the Scottish Parliament's Corporate Identity and brand guidelines
Scottish Parliament Information Centre
The Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) provides research, information, library and documentation services to the Scottish Parliament. There are two teams: Research Services, and Information Services.
The Research Services team:
- provides impartial, accurate and timely advice and briefings, mainly on devolved subject areas, to the Parliament’s Committees, to individual MSPs, to their staff and to other offices within the Parliament
- commissions research required by Committees
The Information Services team:
- answers reference enquiries on all subjects from MSPs, their staff and the Parliament's staff, provides electronic and printed information services to MSPs
- maintains a collection of both printed and electronic material relevant to the Parliament
- manages the Dewar Collection
The aims of the Security Office are:
- to provide a safe, secure and welcoming environment for all who access the Parliament
- to help prevent disruption to parliamentary business
- to protect information, equipment and assets against theft and crime
- to protect the building from damage
Security staff provide:
- a Chamber and Committee service for MSPs which includes the delivery of communications
- information to visitors in the debating chamber's public gallery on non-business days
- a 24-hour presence in the building.
- screening of staff and all other people who need regular access to the building and for the issue of photographic security passes
Office of the Solicitor to the Scottish Parliament
The Office of the Solicitor to the Scottish Parliament provides a parliamentary legal service, supporting the Parliament across its range of activities and responsibilities. In relation to the Parliament's legislative activity the legal advisers are involved in aspects of the passage of primary legislation (Bills) and secondary legislation (Statutory Instruments).
For primary legislation, the legal advisers' main role is to advise the Presiding Officer in the exercise of his statutory function under the Scotland Act 1998. This is to give a view on whether a Bill, at introduction, is within the Parliament's legislative competence. The legal advisers also play a role in the development of Members' and committee bills through the Non-Government Bills Unit, and in the parliamentary passage of private legislation.
For secondary legislation, the legal advisers have two main functions, both supporting the Subordinate Legislation Committee. They check all Statutory Instruments for technical and legal competence and they advise the committee on all provisions in Bills under which Ministers will get power to make secondary legislation.
The legal advisers also:
- provide legal advice and assistance to the Standards Committee
- advise committees, including the European Committee, on matters of European law
- support and provide drafting expertise to the Procedures Committee.
The office's other main function is to advise the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body in the exercise of its responsibilities, including its core function of providing the Parliament with the property, staff and resources it requires. This work involves providing legal advice and assistance to the SPCB itself and to the Clerk and Presiding Officer, but also for example to the Corporate Policy Unit, the Personnel Office, the Allowance Office, the Procurement Office, the Data Protection Officer and the Records Manager.
The office is led by the Solicitor to the Scottish Parliament who is a member of the Parliament's Leadership Group.
Visitor Services provides a range of services to visitors to the Holyrood building. This includes:
- tickets for the public galleries of the Chamber and Committee rooms
- guided tours
- souvenir shop
- support MSPs and their visitors, including facilitating access for meetings and events
Web and Social Media
The Web and Social Media Team:
- manages and develops the Parliament’s web services, including editorial responsibilities
- manages access to and training in use of electronic resources
- produces, edits and publishes material and current awareness services on the website and intranet