Date: 18 October 2023

Time: 13:30

Venue: Microsoft Teams


  • Judith Paterson (Interim Co-Chair)
  • Dr Mark Simpson (Interim Co-Chair)
  • Marilyn Howard (Member)
  • Jackie Gulland (Member)

Apologies: None

In Attendance (SCoSS Secretariat)—

  • Stephen Herbert, Secretary
  • Andrew Strong, Head of Policy and Scrutiny
  • Andrzej Hagger, Analysis and Participation Officer
  • Christopher Galloway, Analysis and Participation Support Officer
  • Dorothy Warren, Governance and Engagement Officer
  • Lisa Kinnear, Service Support Administrator

The Interim Co-Chair, Dr Mark Simpson, welcomed the Commissioners to the ninth meeting of the Board in 2023.

Members did not have any relevant interests to declare.

The Minutes of the September Board meeting were considered and agreed.

The Board noted that 8 responses had been received to the call for evidence on the draft regulations.  The Board also noted the content of, firstly, two stakeholder events that had been organised in conjunction with Age Scotland, secondly, a meeting with Scottish Government officials regarding the Equality Impact Assessment accompanying the draft regulations, and lastly, of a meeting with the Action Group, CPAG Scotland and York Law School to discuss existing case law and how it relates to these draft regulations.

The Board also considered the content of a draft report on the regulations and agreed to hold an ad-hoc meeting on Tuesday 24 October to finalise the content of the report.

The Board received a finance update which set out the tight budgetary position in 2023-24 and that there was a degree of uncertainty regarding staff costs with this position likely to be clearer in November.  The Board noted the finance update.

The Board considered a revised risk register which had been agreed previously by the Audit Sub-Committee.  The revised risk register included a new risk relating to budgetary pressures.  The Board agreed the revised risk register.

The Board considered progress against the Improvement Plan arising from the external review of SCoSS undertaken in 2022-23.  The Board noted that the timetable for implementation of the plan was currently on schedule.  However, it was noted that the extended timetable for Board recruitment, in particular of a Chair, may result in the delayed implementation of some aspects of the plan.  It was further noted that the next steps in implementation of the recommendations arising from the external review would be to revise the Framework document and then subsequently the Stakeholder Engagement Strategy.

The Board considered progress against the strategic objectives and key priorities in the 2023-24 Business Plan.  The Board also agreed to consider a paper on key performance indicators at a future Board meeting.

The Board considered a number of items of business as follows—

  • The Board noted that emergency regulations, relating to the current situation in Gaza / Israel, were likely to be provided to SCoSS in the near future for retrospective scrutiny.
  • The Board agreed revised dates for Board meetings from February to June 2024.
  • The Board agreed to meet with Scottish Government officials on 31 October to discuss safeguarding regulations which  have been provided to SCoSS albeit not subject to formal scrutiny by SCoSS.
  • The Board discussed an invitation to give evidence, from the Social Justice and Social Security Committee, on the Scottish Employment Injuries Advisory Council Bill.

Meeting closed at – 17:04

Date of Next Meeting: Wednesday 22 November

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