Approach to scrutiny
The draft Best Start Grants and Scottish Child Payment (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2021 regulations were unexpectedly referred to SCoSS on 3 September 20211 by the Minister for Social Security and Local Government, Ben Macpherson MSP. This coincided with members having to prioritise the Disability Assistance for Working Age People (Scotland) Regulations2 (ADP) in conjunction with scrutiny of additional draft regulations, including Winter Heating Assistance for Children and Young People (Scotland) Amendment Regulations, the Suspension of Assistance (Disability Assistance for Children and Young People) (Scottish Child Payment) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 and with limited secretariat support in place to assist with report drafting.
In the limited time available – there was some urgency due to the fact that appeals had been held in the tribunals system pending reconsideration of the regulations – we have focused on identifying issues and queries but have not been able to go as far as we usually would to investigate them and take a view.
As usual, as part of the scrutiny process, we sought further information and clarification from officials on various points, to aid us in preparing the scrutiny report. A welcome update was received from David Wallace, Chief Executive of Social Security Scotland, on how the agency has responded to the problem of competing claims in advance of the draft Regulations being laid and how it is preparing to implement the Regulations thereafter.
This is the fourth scrutiny report on SCP that we have produced. Other reports were:
- The Scottish Child Payment Regulations 2020: scrutiny report on draft regulations, published 21 January 2020
- The Scottish Child Payment Regulations 2020: supplementary scrutiny report on draft regulations, published 25 February 2020
- Scottish Child Payment Amendment Regulations 2021: scrutiny report on draft regulations, published 24 November 2020
We have referred to recommendations from these reports where these have relevance to the amendments that are the subject of this report.