Allowances review panel holds preparatory discussions at Holyrood


The independent parliamentary allowances review panel, chaired by Sir Alan Langlands, held preparatory discussions at Holyrood today

Commissioned by the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body to carry out a full scale review of the allowances required by MSPs to carry out their duties, the panel today agreed the first steps in the process to be taken over the summer.

The panel agreed that it will:

  • invite written evidence from Members of the Scottish Parliament;
  • issue an open call for evidence from members of the public and interested bodies;
  • establish a dedicated website where information can be readily accessed by the public as the inquiry progresses;
  • publish evidence received and minutes of the meetings on the website;
  • commission information on what tasks are expected of Members of the Scottish Parliament and what resources are required to enable those to be undertaken effectively and efficiently on behalf of constituents and the Parliament;
  • commission comparative research data on allowances arrangements for other parliaments and institutions including Westminster , the Welsh Assembly and the Northern Ireland Assembly;
  • meet in September, and thereafter monthly, to review evidence received and research commissioned.

Chairman Sir Alan Langlands said:

"Our meeting this morning was essentially preparatory, to ensure that we develop the right methodology over summer that will enable us to conduct a systematic review of what parliamentary allowances are required to enable an MSP to carry out his or her duties.

"In the coming months, we shall gather evidence not only from the political parties but from the public and any individual body which wishes to put forward its considered view.”


Details of the panel’s website and information on how to submit written evidence will be announced shortly.

The five-strong review panel comprises:

  • Sir Alan Langlands, principal and vice chancellor of the University of Dundee and former chief executive of the NHS in England. In 2004, Sir Alan chaired the Independent Commission for Good Governance in Public Services.
  • Alastair MacNish, chairman of the Accounts Commission and former Chief Executive of South Lanarkshire Council.
  • Isobel Sharp, President of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and a partner in Deloitte and Touche LLP where she specialises in financial reporting, company law and corporate governance.
  • James Douglas-Hamilton, former UK government Minister, Member of Parliament and Member of the Scottish Parliament.
  • Tom McCabe MSP, a former Finance Minister and currently a member of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body.

The review will cover all three main allowance categories:

  • the Members’ Allowances Scheme,
  • the Party Leaders’ Allowance Scheme, and
  • the Equipment & Furniture Scheme.

The panel has been asked to report back to Parliament no later than March 2008.

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