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Business Plan 2022-2023

Scottish Commission on Social Security's business plan covering the period of April 2022 to March 2023.

Chair’s foreword

This Business Plan comes at a time when Scottish social security starts to shift, from an initial phase of safe and secure transfer of existing benefits and establishment of delivery infrastructure towards a period of reviewing and shaping what is to come next. Notably that includes Adult Disability Payment and the Social Security Charter. Clearly, the Scottish Commission on Social Security (SCoSS) must adapt in tandem. It is therefore a timely moment to reflect on achievements and learning to date, to consider how SCoSS can be best equipped to deliver what is required within the constraints under which we must operate and add maximum value. A review of SCoSS will therefore be a key focus this year.

It also marks a time of reflection for individual SCoSS Board members, and for two of us – myself and Sharon McIntyre – to conclude that, in view of changing personal circumstances, now is the time to move on. This year will thus see new recruits join an expanded Board, as well as secretariat, leaving SCoSS resilient and well-resourced in readiness for the next phase. They will join at an exciting time of new opportunities to help shape the development of devolved social security, as a key investment in the lives of the people of Scotland and a human right essential to the realisation of other human rights.

Meanwhile, SCoSS will continue to deliver ongoing essential business, while seeking to resume work unavoidably delayed due to pandemic-related disruption and resourcing challenges. In addition to scrutinising draft regulations, we intend to progress our work monitoring compliance with the Social Security Charter. At the time of writing, we have just seen the long-awaited launch of our own independent web-site, which should significantly increase SCoSS’s ability to communicate with external stakeholders, enhancing transparency and accessibility. And, as more capacity comes on stream, it should be possible to review and expand stakeholder engagement in other ways. Crucially, this includes people with lived experience of social security. Their involvement is intrinsic to a devolved social security system based on dignity, fairness and respect. It is the people who use, or who will use, devolved social security that know best what works for them and whether it does. And if the system does not work for the people it is for, its goals will not be achieved.

As always, SCoSS must strike a balance between what we would like to do, what we need to do and what, realistically in the circumstances, we can do: never easy in a rapidly-changing environment. This Business Plan presents the outcome of that calculation. We warmly welcome your feedback and your thoughts on the review of SCoSS.

Finally, on a personal note, to be Chair of SCoSS has been a great privilege, if something of a rollercoaster on occasion! We have come a long way since we first set out, to establish SCoSS as a key feature in the devolved social security landscape, despite the disruption of a major ongoing pandemic. I wish my successor and all concerned every success in continuing to help forge a system based on dignity, fairness and respect, with and for the people of Scotland.

Dr Sally Witcher OBE
Chair, Scottish Commission on Social Security (SCoSS)