Date: 15 December 2021
Time: 13:30 – 16:15
Venue: MS Teams


  • Dr Sally Witcher (Chair);
  • Sharon McIntyre (Member);
  • Judith Paterson (Member);
  • Dr Mark Simpson (Member).


  • Dr Sally Witcher (for agenda items 1 and 2)

In Attendance:

  • Alan Henderson, SCoSS Analysis and Participation Officer (acting);
  • Lisa Kinnear, SCoSS Administrative Assistant;
  • Fiona Lodge, SCoSS Governance and Engagement (Lead) Officer.

In Attendance for agenda item 2:

  • Simon Coote, Scottish Government Legislation and Operational Policy Unit Head;
  • Ethan Hood, Scottish Government Assistant Economist;
  • Johanna MacIsaac, Scottish Government Senior Policy Officer.

In Attendance for agenda item 3:

  • Miriam Craven, Social Security Scotland Deputy Director of Strategy, Change, Data & Engagement;
  • Gayle Devlin, Social Security Scotland Head of Corporate Strategy and Communications.

In Attendance for agenda item 4:

  • Frederick Charles, Scottish Government Service Designer;
  • Julie Cruden, Scottish Government Project Manager;
  • Lesley Kelso, Scottish Government Service Manager;
  • Gemma Leishman; Scottish Government Clinical Advisor;
  • Llewelyn Parkinson, Scottish Government Product Owner;
  • Dominika Pyzik, Scottish Government Product Owner;
  • Catherine Reeves, Scottish Government Head of Parliamentary Unit;
  • Alex Young, Scottish Government Technical, Corporate and Parliament Team Leader.

As the Chair was absent for the first two agenda items, the Board agreed Mark would Chair in the interim. Mark welcomed the Members to the meeting.

No relevant declarations of interest were given.

Ethan, Johanna and Simon joined the meeting and roundtable introductions were undertaken. Johanna gave an outline of the annual Uprating regulations and specified which benefits were subject to statutory and non-statutory uprating.

Ethan, Johanna and Simon responded to questions raised by Members and agreed to respond to any follow up questions from the Members.

Following officials’ departure, the Members discussed the scrutiny process and timelines. Sharon agreed to support the Chair and Secretariat with report drafting. The Board agreed to meet in the new year to discuss and agree the draft report prior to laying.

  • Action – Officials to share the take up strategy review of job start payment.
  • Action – Officials to provide information/ the legislative requirement for the reasons that an annual consultation with the Welsh Assembly takes place on Uprating.

Miriam and Gayle joined the meeting. The Chair offered congratulations for Social Security’s success at the recent Scottish Public Service Awards.

Miriam highlighted some of the key findings from the Social Security Scotland Charter Research 2020-21. Miriam and Gayle responded to the Members questions. Miriam noted that as the Charter was to be reviewed after five years, the Charter itself would be reviewed in 2023 and Charter measurement framework would be reviewed in 2024.

Following officials’ departure, the Board discussed the Charter focus session at the January Board meeting. Sharon agreed to share the structure and overview she had prepared for the focus session. Mark and Sharon agreed to meet in early January to discuss the focus session.

  • Action – Sharon to circulate the structure and overview paper for the focus session to Members for feedback.
  • Action – Sharon to send some of our reflections on co-design measurement after meeting (re views and strengths of weaknesses of current Charter and Framework) incorporating clients, internal audit for an evidence based system.

Programme and Policy officials joined the meeting. Programme officials gave a presentation on the client journey through Adult Disability Payment and answered questions from the Members.

  • Action – Alex Young and Lesley Kelso to consider how questions from SCoSS are handled between Policy and Programme officials.
  • Action – Chair, Alex Young and Ian Davidson to consider how feedback for and from SCoSS is undertaken.
  • Action – Lesley Kelso to supply SCoSS with an ADP application form.
  • Action – Programme officials to send the ADP walk through slides to SCoSS.
  • Action – Alex, Iain and Sally to re-visit the interface with DWP in the new year.

The Chair suggested that SCoSS’s budget forecast be reviewed in the new year.

  • Action – Secretariat to circulate an updated finance forecast to Members in the new year.

No further items of business were raised.

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