What is the role of the Scottish Government and its Ministers?

The Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government are separate organisations, with different remits and contact addresses.

What is the Scottish Government?

The Scottish Government is responsible for implementing laws and policy on matters that are devolved to Scotland.

It is normally formed from the party or parties holding most seats in the Scottish Parliament and it introduces most of the bills that are considered by the Scottish Parliament.

The Scottish Government also proposes how the Scottish budget is allocated through the Budget Bill, which it submits to the Scottish Parliament each year for approval.

Scottish Parliament committees and MSPs who are not members of the Scottish Government scrutinise its work and hold it to account. Both the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament are accountable to the people of Scotland.

What are Scottish Government Ministers?

As well as representing people in the areas where they were elected, some MSPs from the party or parties holding most seats in the Scottish Parliament have an additional role as a Cabinet Secretary or Minister in the Scottish Government.

The First Minister is the head of the Scottish Government and chooses the Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers, who then have to be approved by the Parliament. Scottish Government Ministers and Cabinet Secretaries are allocated specific areas of responsibility such as health or justice.

How can I contact a Minister?

You can contact a Minister by emailing [email protected] or by sending a letter to the Scottish Government.

What is the difference between the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government?

Watch our short animated guide.

Did you know?


The Central Enquiry Unit at the Scottish Government can be contacted by telephone or by email:

Tel: 0131 244 4000
Email: [email protected]

The Scottish Cabinet and Ministers and their responsibilities can be found on the Scottish Government's website.

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