The Scottish Government is the devolved Administration for Scotland
The Scottish Parliament was reconvened in 1999 after almost 300 years, having been adjourned on March 25, 1707 when members passed the Act of Union combining the Scottish and English Parliaments at Westminster in London.
In 1997 a referendum in Scotland resulted in a large majority voting in favour of a Scottish Parliament with tax-raising powers.
Westminster then passed the 1998 Scotland Act which assigned the devolved powers. In 1999, an election was held in Scotland and the first 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) elected. On July 1, 1999, they gathered at their temporary home in an assembly building on The Mound in Edinburgh and the Parliament was reconvened.
In 2004, the Queen performed the opening ceremony when the Parliament moved to its permanent home at Holyrood in Edinburgh.
The Parliament and the Scottish Ministers who make up the Government are elected for a fixed term. For the first three terms it was four years, for the current 2011-16 term it is five years.
The latest election was held on May 5, 2011. The Scottish National Party (SNP) won a majority of the seats and formed the Government with Alex Salmond returning as First Minister, having held the position for the four years of the previous administration.
Devolved powers are Health, Education and Training, Local Government, Social Work, Housing, Planning, Tourism, Economic Development, Law and Home Affairs, Police and Fire, The Environment, Natural and Built Heritage, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Sport and The Arts, Statistics, Transport.
Reserved powers are Foreign Affairs,Defence and National Security, and Social Security.
In January 2012,the Scottish Government confirmed its intention to hold a referendum on Scottish independence in the autumn of 2014.
The Scottish Government was known as the Scottish Executive until the name was changed in September 20
Scotland is renowned across the globe for its rich culture and heritage, and its contribution to the world past and present.From its thriving contemporary arts and music scene to its achievements in industry, medicine, science, law and literature, Scotland,s story is one of immense achievement