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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-10908: Dean Lockhart (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 24 August 2017

To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body for what reason MSP staff, as building users, are not included in the text messaging alert system, given that their employer may be unable to communicate to them important messages that affect all building users.

Answered by: Liam McArthur 11 September 2017

The alert messaging system draws on contact detail information entered by staff to the Parliament’s self-service payslip portal, eHR, which feeds into the payroll system. In the past the view was taken that the comparatively high level in Members’ staff turnover meant that it was logistically difficult for Members’ staff to be included in the alert messaging system.


The alert messaging system has been used more frequently in 2017 in connection with a number of incidents affecting the Parliament and building users. The alert system has proved to be a highly effective way of communicating messages quickly, both through texts and emails. Over the summer, a review was undertaken to examine the feasibility of adding Members’ staff to the system. As a result of this review, we now intend to adjust the system to include Members’ staff whose contact details are listed in eHR and thus the payroll system.


Later this month, Members will be advised on how staff contact details can be added to or amended on eHR. The intention is that the expanded alert messaging system will be operational from November 2017.


Finally, it should be noted that the current emergency messaging contract is subject to a re-tendering process and it is possible that adjustments will need to be made as a result later this year. Members and their staff will be advised if this is the case.