An independent commission charged with reviewing how the Scottish Parliament works should come up with challenging and effective recommendations, the man heading the inquiry said.

John McCormick has been tasked with chairing the independent Commission on Parliamentary Reform set up by Holyrood Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh, which met for the first time on Monday.

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The work is being carried out after questions were raised about how effective Parliament committees are at scrutinising Scottish Government legislation.

It also comes at a time when MSPs are preparing to take on new powers over income tax and welfare, thanks to changes introduced in the 2016 Scotland Act.

Announcing the formation of the Commission, Mr Macintosh said: ''The Parliament's systems are not broken but they are in need of an MoT."

With changes also having been made to Holyrood's powers as a result of the 2012 Scotland Act, Mr McCormick, who will step down as Electoral Commissioner for Scotland at the end of this year, said the time is right to "take stock".

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He told Press Association Scotland: "We're looking at the Parliament as it is today with the powers it has, the powers it has just been awarded in the 2016 Act and the 2012 Act, and assessing what impact that has had on the Parliament, on its engagement with the people and on its legislative programme and the scrutiny of committees.

"All of that is there on the table, there's a lot to discuss and take account of.

"By the time the next elections come around, the Parliament will be 21 years old, I think it's good to stand back and take stock and come up with some challenging and effective recommendations to ensure it is kept in touch with its founding principles and the expectations of people across the country."

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The Commission includes members from each of the five political parties represented at Holyrood, but also has six members who have not come from a political background, including Mr McCormick, the Very Rev Dr Lorna Hood, a former moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and Reform Scotland think-tank director Geoff Mawdsley.

Mr McCormick said: "We've been asked to look at the Parliament against the background of the changes that have taken place in Scotland since 1999, changes in society like social media was in its infancy in 1999, 16 and 17-year-olds didn't have the vote in 1999, and since 1999 the Parliament has also gained a lot of additional powers.

"Our task really is to look at Scotland as it is now, look at the way the Parliament is operating, and to see what recommendations we can make to improve how it's working.

"It's called the Commission on Parliamentary Reform so the implication is that it can do better."

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The Commission has been given a "broad" remit and will be looking at parliamentary procedures, practices, how MSPs scrutinise legislation, how the committee system operates, and how well Holyrood engages with the people of Scotland.

Mr McCormick said: "It is one of the founding principles of the Parliament that it should engage in participative democracy with the people of Scotland, and we want to engage with people across Scotland, talk to people, individuals, organisations and politicians, people who have engaged with the Parliament and learn from them how they feel it is doing.

"I see it as a very broad remit and we'll come up with some very challenging proposals, I hope."

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The Commission is due to make its recommendations by June 2017.