Framework document between the Scottish Government and the Scottish Commission on Social Security

Framework document between the Scottish Commission on Social Security (SCoSS) and the Scottish Government, setting out the broad framework within which SCoSS operates.

Updated June 2024.

Relationship between Scottish Government and SCoSS

32. Strategic engagement between the SG and SCoSS is essential in order that they work together as effectively as possible to maintain and improve public services and deliver improved outcomes. Specific governance and accountability roles are described in the section above, but more generally, both the SG and SCoSS will take all necessary steps to ensure that their relationship is developed and supported in line with the jointly agreed principles set out in the statement on ‘Strategic Engagement between the Scottish Government and Scotland’s NDPBs’. This emphasises the need for cooperation and good communication, and in particular, early warning from either side about any emerging risks or issues with significant implications for the operation or governance of SCoSS. This includes the Scottish Government seeking the views of SCoSS in advance of any changes to the formal role and remit of the body in legislation.

33. SCoSS’s statutory functions under section 22 of the 2018 Act include the duty to scrutinise legislative proposals in accordance with section 97 of the 2018 Act, and to prepare and submit to the Scottish Ministers a report on any matter, relevant to social security, that the Ministers request SCoSS to report on. Following the recommendations of an independent review of SCoSS arrangements accepted by the Scottish Government and the SCoSS Board, various regulation-making powers are due to be brought under section 97 of the Act by legislation currently moving through the Scottish Parliament. The list of powers to be included reflect where SCoSS has been commenting on such regulations in practice, because they were likely to have a material impact on Social Security Scotland clients. In addition to implementing the extension of the list of regulations that will formally come to SCoSS for scrutiny, the Scottish Government undertakes to request SCoSS to report on proposals made using regulation-making powers under Compensation Recovery provisions in the Social Security (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill, using section 22(1)(b) of the 2018 Act, where the Scottish Government considers there likely to be significant impact on outcomes for individual claimants.

34. The Sponsor Team’s primary function is to carry out the responsibilities delegated to it by the AO, directly or via a Senior Sponsor, as described above. In addition to ensuring that the arrangements in this framework document operate effectively, managing public appointments and providing assurance to the AO, the Sponsor Team will usually be the first point of contact for the body on any issue with SG. As part of the assurance they provide to the AO, they must ensure that key actions and decisions agreed are documented and implemented. This includes ensuring that SG teams implement any agreed actions.

Back to top Skip to content