The committee system of the Scottish Parliament

Shephard, Mark Peter; Hassan, Gerry, ed. (2019) The committee system of the Scottish Parliament. In: The Story of the Scottish Parliament. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, pp. 97-104. ISBN 9781474454902

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    Prior to the creation of the committee system and the Scottish Parliament, a Consultative Steering Group was tasked with drawing up detailed proposals of how the Scottish Parliament was going to operate, and from the outset, committees were expected to be the ‘engine rooms’ not only for the effective scrutiny and influence of government, but for policy initiation as well. The idea was for a ‘new politics’ in which the ‘old politics’ of Westminster (majoritarian and top-down) would be replaced by more consensus-based and bottom-up democracy. To that end, committees were given extensive powers to scrutinise policy, administration and finance, to conduct inquiries, and to introduce legislation.