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How government works

How government works

The devolved government for Scotland has a range of responsibilities which include: health, education, justice and the environment. Some powers are reserved to the UK government and include: immigration, the constitution, foreign policy and defence.

Who runs the Scottish Government

After a Scottish Parliamentary election, a First Minister is formally nominated by the Scottish Parliament and appointed by Her Majesty the Queen. The First Minister then appoints the Scottish Ministers to make up their Cabinet with the agreement of the Scottish Parliament and the approval of the Queen.

The First Minister leads the Scottish Government, with the support of the Scottish Cabinet and Ministers.

The Scottish Parliament

The Scottish Parliament comprises all elected Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) and is the law making body for devolved matters. It considers proposed legislation and scrutinises the activities and policies of the Scottish Government through debates, parliamentary questions and the work of committees.

In this section

  • Background

    Background information on the Cabinet and Management of the Scottish Government.

  • Previous Administrations

    Devolved Administrations elected during successive Parliamentary terms since 1999.

  • Sewel Convention

    Explanation of the Sewel Convention and links to Legislative Consent Memorandums.

  • Online Payments

    Online payments to the Scottish Government.

  • Buying goods and services

    There are three main routes through which the core Scottish Government secures goods and services. These are: through a Purchase Order, through the use of the Government Procurement Card (GPC), and by agreed contract.