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Framework Document

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

Specific financial provisions

SCoSS as established by the Act, is an advisory NDPB established by the Scottish Ministers. SCoSS does not enjoy any status, immunity or privilege of the Crown and is therefore unable to enter into contracts in its own name.

This prohibits SCoSS from engaging in the following: financial investments; borrowing; lease holding; lending, etc. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, and advice should be sought from the sponsor unit on any financial matters not otherwise covered in this framework.

The budget allocated to SCoSS will be held on its behalf by the Lead Secretary to SCoSS.

SCoSS’s specific delegated financial authorities – as agreed in consultation between SCoSS and the SG – are set out in the attached Appendix. SCoSS shall obtain the SG’s prior written approval before incurring any expenditure that falls outside these delegations. The Commission shall also comply with any requirements for prior SG approval included in the SPFM and/or this document. Prior SG approval must always be obtained before incurring expenditure for any purpose that is or might be considered novel, contentious or repercussive, or which has or could have significant future cost implications.

SCoSSdoes not hold the ability to generate income.

If gifts are offered to SCoSS or its Members then they consider if there are any associated costs in receiving these or any conflicts of interests arising. SCoSS shall keep a written record of any such gifts, etc. and what happened to them.

SCoSS must comply with all relevant rules on taxation, including VAT. All individuals who would qualify as employees for tax purposes should be paid through the SG payroll system with tax deducted at source. It is the responsibility of SCoSS to observe VAT legislation and recover input tax where it is entitled to do so. The implications of VAT in relation to procurement and shared services should be considered at an early stage to ensure that financial efficiency is achieved.

Unless covered by a specific delegated authority SCoSS shall not, without the SG’s prior written agreement, provide grant funding to a third party. Such funding would be subject to the guidance in the State Aid section of the SPFM. Guidance on a framework for the control of third party grants is provided as an annex to the Grant and Grant in Aid section of the SPFM.

Procurement shall be undertaken by Scottish Ministers on behalf of SCoSS. Procurement should be undertaken by appropriately trained and authorised staff and treated as a key component of achieving SCoSS’s objectives consistent with the principles of Value for Money, the highest professional standards and any legal requirements. All external consultancy contracts over the value of £10,000 or any proposal to award a contract without competition (non-competitive action) must be endorsed in advance by the Accountable Officer. Contacts over £50,000 must be approved by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance.

SCoSS shall pay all matured and properly authorised invoices relating to transactions with suppliers in accordance with the Expenditure and Payments section of the SPFM and in doing so shall seek, wherever possible and appropriate, to meet the SG’s target for the payment of invoices within 10 working days of their receipt.

Unless covered by a specific delegated authority SCoSS shall not, without the SG’s prior written approval, make special payments or write-off of losses. Special payments and losses are subject the guidance in the Losses and Special Payments section of the SPFM.