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Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 13 December 2007

Note: (DT) signifies a decision taken at Decision Time.

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Sport and Young People: Ross Finnie moved S3M-1018—That the Parliament rejects the case for the abolition of sportscotland; notes the importance of grass-roots sport and the opportunities that currently exist to increase sporting participation and enhance sporting performance, particularly among young people, in Scotland as we look forward to the London Olympics of 2012 and the Glasgow Commonwealth Games of 2014; recognises that sportscotland has established itself as an effective arms-length body for distributing both Treasury and lottery funding as well as successfully performing important co-ordinating and strategic functions in the development of integrated sporting performance pathways, and therefore calls for sportscotland to be retained.

Stewart Maxwell moved amendment S3M-1018.2 to motion S3M-1018—

Leave out from “rejects” to end and insert—

“notes that sportscotland is under review as part of a wider review of the public sector delivery landscape; welcomes the intention to remove any duplication or unnecessary bureaucracy; believes that there should be a parliamentary debate on this matter following the outcome of the review; recognises the important role that sportscotland has played as an effective arms-length body for distributing both Treasury and lottery funding, as well as successfully performing important co-ordinating and strategic functions in the development of integrated sporting performance pathways; further notes the importance of grassroots sport and the opportunities that currently exist to increase participation and enhance sporting performance, in particular those presented by the London Olympics in 2012 and the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014, and in this context believes that it is opportune to consider the effectiveness of current structures to ensure that they best meet the needs of Scottish sport.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For  45, Against  79, Abstentions  0).

Jamie McGrigor moved amendment S3M-1018.1 to motion S3M-1018—

After first “sportscotland” insert—

“without prejudice to any proposals which may improve the performance of that body”.

After debate, the amendment was agreed to (DT).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For  81, Against  44, Abstentions  0).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament rejects the case for the abolition of sportscotland without prejudice to any proposals which may improve the performance of that body; notes the importance of grass-roots sport and the opportunities that currently exist to increase sporting participation and enhance sporting performance, particularly among young people, in Scotland as we look forward to the London Olympics of 2012 and the Glasgow Commonwealth Games of 2014; recognises that sportscotland has established itself as an effective arms-length body for distributing both Treasury and lottery funding as well as successfully performing important co-ordinating and strategic functions in the development of integrated sporting performance pathways, and therefore calls for sportscotland to be retained.

2. Margaret Smith moved S3M-1017—That the Parliament believes that the fundamental liberties enjoyed by generations of our citizens must not be eroded; welcomes the commitment by the previous Scottish Executive that ID cards would not be needed to access devolved services and its proportionate position on DNA retention; is concerned at the threat to civil liberties from the UK Government's expensive and unworkable proposal to introduce compulsory ID cards; believes that the Scottish Government should not put citizens’ privacy at risk by allowing the UK ID database to access personal information held by the Scottish Government, local authorities or other devolved public agencies; therefore calls on the Scottish Government to ensure that all data protection procedures are secure and that audit of data under its jurisdiction is independent of government and accountable to the Parliament, and takes the view that there should be no blanket retention of DNA samples and that the Assistant Information Commissioner for Scotland should have specific powers to carry out spot checks on the compliance by Scottish government agencies and bodies with the Data Protection Act 1998.

Bill Aitken moved amendment S3M-1017.1 to motion S3M-1017—

Insert at end—

“and believes that the money proposed to be spent on ID cards should be used for more worthwhile projects, such as a dedicated UK border police force, more prison places or on increasing the number of drug rehabilitation places.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For  16, Against  18, Abstentions  91).

Patrick Harvie moved amendment S3M-1017.2 to motion S3M-1017—

Leave out from “are secure” to “accountable to the Parliament” and insert—

“comply with the principles of data protection, namely that personal information must be fairly and lawfully processed, processed for limited purposes, adequate, relevant and not excessive, accurate and up to date, not kept for longer than necessary, processed in line with individuals’ rights, secure and not transmitted to other countries without adequate protection, and that audit of data under its jurisdiction is independent of government and accountable to the Parliament; further calls on the Scottish Government to review plans for Scottish Citizens Accounts on the basis of these principles”.

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For  64, Against  16, Abstentions  42).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For  64, Against  1, Abstentions  60).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament believes that the fundamental liberties enjoyed by generations of our citizens must not be eroded; welcomes the commitment by the previous Scottish Executive that ID cards would not be needed to access devolved services and its proportionate position on DNA retention; is concerned at the threat to civil liberties from the UK Government's expensive and unworkable proposal to introduce compulsory ID cards; believes that the Scottish Government should not put citizens’ privacy at risk by allowing the UK ID database to access personal information held by the Scottish Government, local authorities or other devolved public agencies; therefore calls on the Scottish Government to ensure that all data protection procedures comply with the principles of data protection, namely that personal information must be fairly and lawfully processed, processed for limited purposes, adequate, relevant and not excessive, accurate and up to date, not kept for longer than necessary, processed in line with individuals’ rights, secure and not transmitted to other countries without adequate protection, and that audit of data under its jurisdiction is independent of government and accountable to the Parliament; further calls on the Scottish Government to review plans for Scottish Citizens Accounts on the basis of these principles, and takes the view that there should be no blanket retention of DNA samples and that the Assistant Information Commissioner for Scotland should have specific powers to carry out spot checks on the compliance by Scottish government agencies and bodies with the Data Protection Act 1998.

3. General Question Time:  Questions were answered by Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers.

4. First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Alex Salmond).

5. Themed Question Time: Questions on Rural Affairs and the Environment, and Justice and Law Officers were answered by Cabinet Secretaries, Ministers and Scottish Law Officers.

6. Ministerial Statement: The Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth (John Swinney) made a statement and answered questions on the Local Government Finance Settlement 2008-2011.

7. Local Government Finance Settlement 2008-2011: The Parliament debated the Local Government Finance Settlement 2008-2011.

8. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1 and 2 as noted above.

9. Standing United with Glasgow’s Pakistani Community: The Parliament debated S3M-868 in the name of Bashir Ahmad—That the Parliament is united with members of the Glasgow Pakistani community who protested outside the Pakistan Vice-Consulate’s office in Glasgow in November 2007; shares their concerns over the emergency rule imposed by General Musharraf in Pakistan; joins in their calls demanding that the rule of law is adhered to, the judiciary is reinstated and free and fair elections are held as scheduled in January 2008, and considers that representations should be made to Westminster on their behalf and that appropriate pressure be applied to General Musharraf to comply with the democratic wishes of the Pakistani community.

The meeting closed at 6.20 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
13 December 2007

Appendix
(Note: this Appendix does not form part of the Minutes)

Subordinate Legislation

Negative Instruments

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 13 December 2007 and is subject to annulment

The Sheep and Goats (Identification and Traceability) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/559)

laid under paragraph 2(2) of Schedule 2 to the European Communities Act 1972

Other Documents

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 13 December 2007 and are not subject to any parliamentary procedure—

Fisheries Research Services Report and Accounts 2006-07 (SE/2007/152)

laid under section 22(5) of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000

Highlands and Islands Enterprise Network 2007 (SE/2007/264)

“Overview of Scotland’s health and NHS performance in 2006-07” – A report prepared for the Auditor General for Scotland (AGS/2007/10)

laid under the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000