Business Plan 2021-2022

Scottish Commission on Social Security's business plan covering the period April 2021 to March 2022.

Chair’s foreword

I am pleased to introduce the Scottish Commission in Social Security (SCoSS) business plan for 2021-22. This sets out our strategic approach and priorities for the year and how we intend to measure success. That said, a key learning point from 2020-21 was just how quickly, unexpectedly and fundamentally priorities can change. As for everyone else, what we expected to do that year, and what we ended up doing, were not the same, due to the impact of Covid. Our work priorities will always, unavoidably, to a considerable extent be driven by Scottish Government’s timetable for regulations. Where these are subject to change, so too will be our workplan. Last year such was the scale and pace of change that we were unable to produce a meaningful business plan and so instead published a high level interim report.

This year we expect change to continue to be a major theme as the pandemic plays out, plans that had to be shelved during a state of emergency start to be revisited and new priorities continue to emerge. The Scottish Parliament election in May can be expected to result in changes to Ministers and Parliamentary Committee – two sets of critically important stakeholders for us. On top of that, with the well-deserved promotion of our Secretary into a new role in March 2021, there will clearly be changes to the support available to us at what could well be a very demanding time. Nonetheless, we hope to be able to return to developing our work-plans for the Social Security Charter and for wider stakeholder engagement, in particular concerning the involvement of people with lived experience. We also hope to have capacity to progress the recruitment of a fifth SCoSS Board member and maybe, just maybe, we will at last see the launch of our own SCoSS website! Above all, our focus will be on ensuring we have the capacity and capability to provide independent expert advice that adds demonstrate and significant value in support of our vision for a robust, effective, efficient Scottish social security system that meets its full potential to improve outcomes for the people of Scotland.

Our business plan therefore aims to give a clear sense of direction and priorities while being adaptable to fresh challenges should they arise. We also want to make sure we continuously improve what we do. That means making the most efficient and effective use of the capacity of our Board and secretariat, reviewing how we work with Scottish Government and routinely seeking feedback on our work. On that note, we hope you find this business plan useful and welcome any suggestions you may have for improvement.

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