The process of developing regulations
While we understand that the Scottish Government has been working under exceptional pressures, learning from the way the SCP draft regulations have evolved, resulting in three separate referrals to us, may suggest scope to improve processes in the way regulations are developed and in quality assurance.
We welcome the improved consistency on nil awards across benefits. Ideally this would have been achieved in time to include in the SCP regulations laid recently. This points to an opportunity to improve efficiency by building in a consistency check in the drafting of future regulations for SCP and other types of assistance.
It appears that the discrepancy these amending regulations are designed to address only came to light during what the Scottish Government describes as “the process for ensuring operational readiness”.
Recommendation 5: We recommend that the Scottish Government explore the case for building-in testing at a much earlier stage, to ensure the correct alignment between policy intent and the wording of draft regulations, and build in a consistency check in the drafting of future regulations for SCP and other types of assistance.