Date: 18 November 2019


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



In Attendance:

  • Linda Bamford – Poverty and Inequality Commission Board Member (for agenda item 2);
  • Lorraine Currie – Scottish Information Commissioner Freedom of Information Officer (for agenda item 2);
  • Daren Fitzhenry – Scottish Information Commissioner (for agenda item 2);
  • Nicole Fraser – SCoSS Administrative Officer;
  • Katherine Hudson – Poverty and Inequality Commission Secretariat (for agenda item 2);
  • Fiona Lodge – SCoSS Deputy Secretary (minutes);
  • Bill Scott – Poverty and Inequality Commission Chair (for agenda item 2);
  • Terry Shevlin – SCoSS Lead Secretary;
  • James Wilson – Scottish Government Disability Benefits Team

Members expressed the necessity of the SCoSS having sufficient time to consider and report on the draft regulations (when available) within the deadlines for the draft regulations being laid by the Scottish Government in the Scottish Parliament. Members noted that the Scottish Government did not intend to undertake any consultation on the draft regulations. In light of this, members considered whether there was a need for SCoSS to undertake some stakeholder consultation in relation to the draft regulations, and the implications for timing and resources.

  • Action – Mark Simpson to circulate links to relevant UK legislation on disability.
  • Action – Secretariat to produce a paper for the December board meeting on possible stakeholder engagement on the Disability Assistance for Children and Young People draft regulations.

The Chair welcomed Daren Fitzhenry, Lorraine Currie, Bill Scott, Linda Bamford and Katherine Hudson to the meeting. Mr Fitzhenry provided an overview of the key principles of Freedom of Information and what they mean to public bodies. He also highlighted the resources and guidance available from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Members discussed with the Information Commissioner how best the SCoSS could ensure compliance with the freedom of information regime.

The Board agreed an overarching policy statement on its approach to the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) and to review the SCoSS’s FOISA guide to information.

  • Action – Sharon and Mark to assume responsibility for signing off and reviewing Freedom of Information responses on behalf of the Board.
  • Action – The SCoSS and Poverty and Inequality Committee secretariats to seek ways of sharing good practice in relation to Freedom of Information. Secretariats to remain alert to other such opportunities to make best use of resources through joint sessions or sharing information on items of mutual concern.
  • Action – Secretariat to revise the SCoSS’s online FOISA guide to information.

No other business was raised.

Date of the next meeting – 13 December 2019.

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