In June 2015, the Scottish Government established an independent, short life Working Group to consider optimal arrangements for delivering consumer protection and competition policy in Scotland.
The Working Group on Consumer and Competition Policy for Scotland structured its discussions around the four pillars of consumer protection – advocacy, advice (including education and information), enforcement and redress – and competition. The Working Group was supported by five expert panels on these areas. This report is a distillation of these discussions and those of the Working Group itself.
The main recommendation made by the Working Group is that the Scottish Government should create a unified, statutory consumer body called Consumer Scotland. The Working Group felt strongly that it should be a public body that is independent from both political and commercial influence. It also felt that Consumer Scotland should be accountable directly to the Scottish Parliament, which would demonstrate the correct use of public funds and value for money.
The report makes a number of overarching recommendations, as well as a series of specific ones for each of the four pillars of consumer protection and competition. Additional recommendations have been made on the powers Consumer Scotland will require to deliver its functions, as well as a number of key principles.