ACCOUNTABILITY TO THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT
Accountability to the Scottish Parliament
Scottish Ministers are accountable to the Scottish Parliament for the functions of the /Scottish Government, including Transport Scotland.
Day-to-day operational responsibilities are delegated to the Chief Executive who is in turn accountable to Scottish Ministers and the Scottish Parliament, the Principal and the Portfolio Accountable Officers and supports the Scottish Government's Strategic Board as part of the senior management team in this role.
Appearance at Parliamentary Committees
Scottish Ministers will decide who should represent them at Parliamentary Committee hearings. In practice, the Chief Executive may well be asked to represent Scottish Ministers on matters relating to Transport Scotland's operational responsibilities. The Chief Executive and his or her staff will also often be asked to support Scottish Ministers at Parliamentary Committee hearings
The Chief Executive, as an Accountable Officer, is liable to be required to appear before the Public Audit Committee of the Scottish Parliament to account for the discharge of his or her responsibilities as set out in the Memorandum to Accountable Officers for Parts of the Scottish Administration and in this Framework Document, or before other Committees in the capacity of Chief Executive.
The Scottish Parliament has the power to request a particular individual to attend a Parliamentary Committee.
The Chief Executive, as Accountable Officer, is responsible for putting into effect any relevant recommendations of the Public Audit Committee or other Committees of the Scottish Parliament which are accepted by Scottish Ministers.
The Transport Scotland agency, like the rest of the Scottish Government, is subject to investigation by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman and is required to have in place a complaints handling procedure which complies with the statement of principles published by the Ombudsman.
The Chief Executive is responsible for ensuring that effective procedures for handling complaints about Transport Scotland are established, published, and adhered to.
The Chief Executive will ensure that Transport Scotland provides the information required for Scottish Ministers to reply to written or oral Questions in the Scottish Parliament.
Operational Matters delegated to Transport Scotland
In line with current guidance, the Scottish Ministers will encourage Members of the Scottish Parliament (and MPs and MEPs) to communicate directly with the Chief Executive on the operational responsibilities of Transport Scotland.
The Chief Executive will therefore reply in many circumstances to MSPs' correspondence on operational and contractual matters relating to Transport Scotland. All replies will be copied for information to the relevant Minister.
The Chief Executive will ensure that matters on which it is appropriate for Ministers to communicate with MSPs or members of the public are referred to Ministers without delay. Where a correspondent is dissatisfied with a reply received from the Chief Executive on operational matters, he or she may request a reply from the relevant Minister.
Other transport matters
The Chief Executive will ensure that matters on which it is appropriate for Ministers to reply are referred to them without delay.
The Scottish Ministers will continue to reply to MSPs' correspondence relating to transport policy matters as well as significant operational matters.
Deadlines for replying to Parliamentary Questions and correspondence
Replies to correspondence with MSPs and members of the public, and answers to Parliamentary Questions, will conform with the timetable set for the Scottish Government as a whole.