The Scottish Commission on Social Security (SCoSS) is an independent body set up in 2019 to provide independent scrutiny of the Scottish social security system and hold Scottish Ministers to account.

The Commission is separate from the Scottish Government and from the Scottish Parliament. It carries out its work independently of both, but works closely with both.

Information on the Commission’s functions are set out within Section 22 of the Social Security (Scotland Act) 2018. SCoSS’s role is made up of three parts:

1. Scrutinising draft regulations and publishing a report including recommendations to the Scottish Government.

2. Reporting on the Social Security Charter to the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament on whether the expectations in the Social Security Charter are being met. The Scottish Government and Social Security Scotland published the Social Security Charter in January 2019. It is called ‘Our Charter’.

3. Responding to requests from the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government to report ‘on any matter relevant to social security’ when asked by either of them.

Our vision for SCoSS is to support the ambition of a robust, effective, efficient Scottish social security system that meets its full potential to improve outcomes for the people of Scotland. SCoSS aims to help achieve the vision for Scottish social security by providing independent expert advice that adds demonstrable and significant value.

We are Independent – from Scottish Ministers and the Scottish Parliament. It scrutinises impartially on the basis of evidence, while actively seeking out and carefully considering different views and perspectives.

We are Committed – to making sure human rights, the social security principles and the lived experience of people who use or need to use social security are at the heart of its work.

We provide Assurance and Accountability – by undertaking expert, thorough scrutiny and challenging constructively while remaining solution-focused. SCoSS aims to be open, transparent and accountable itself, and is committed to its own continuous improvement.

We are Outcome-Focussed – making practical recommendations for improving draft regulations and the Charter, always aiming to make a real difference to the lives of people who use devolved social security.

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