Consumer duty for public bodies: consultation

This consultation is to help focus and support the delivery of a duty on specified public authorities to consider the impact of their policies on consumers.

8. Public Authorities

The Consumer Scotland Act Section 20, subsection 2, states that:

For the purpose of this section and sections 21 and 22, "relevant public authority" means a person with functions of a public nature who is specified (by name or description) in regulations made by the Scottish Ministers.

This means only those public authorities that have been identified as operating in a manner that is considered of value to the wider public; and who are also then named specifically or by description in legislation; will be required to comply with the Consumer Duty.

A public authority may be relevant as they collect revenue from consumers in exchange for services, set standards or generally develop policies which will affect consumers and the businesses that serve them.

A full list of public bodies in Scotland can be found here:

National public bodies: directory

Scottish Ministers propose that the following Scottish public authorities be bound by the Duty:

1. Scottish Ministers

This will include:

  • The Scottish Government; and executive agencies

2. Public Ombudsmen

This will include:

  • Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

3. Local Authorities

This will include:

  • All 32 Scottish local councils, including planning authority functions; and
  • The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)

4. Public Corporations

This will include:

  • Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd.;
  • Glasgow Prestwick Airport;
  • Scottish Water; and
  • Crown Estate Scotland

5. Executive Agencies

This will include:

  • Accountant in Bankruptcy;
  • Disclosure Scotland;
  • Education Scotland;
  • Forestry and Land Scotland;
  • Scottish Forestry;
  • Scottish Prison Service;
  • Scottish Public Pensions Agency;
  • Social Security Scotland;
  • Student Awards Agency for Scotland; and
  • Transport Scotland

6. Non Ministerial Offices (NMOs)

This will include:

  • Food Standards Scotland;
  • National Records of Scotland;
  • Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator;
  • Registers of Scotland;
  • Revenue Scotland;
  • Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service;
  • Scottish Fiscal Commission; and
  • Scottish Housing Regulator

7. Executive Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBS)

This will include:

  • Accounts Commission for Scotland;
  • Architecture and Design Scotland;
  • Bòrd na Gàidhlig;
  • Cairngorms National Park Authority;
  • Care Inspectorate;
  • Children's Hearings Scotland;
  • Community Justice Scotland;
  • Creative Scotland;
  • Crofting Commission;
  • David MacBrayne Ltd;
  • Ferguson Marine (Port Glasgow) Ltd;
  • Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd;
  • Highlands and Islands Enterprise;
  • Historic Environment Scotland;
  • Independent Living Fund Scotland;
  • Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority;
  • National Galleries of Scotland;
  • National Library of Scotland;
  • National Museums of Scotland;
  • Police Investigations and Review Commissioner;
  • Quality Meat Scotland;
  • Risk Management Authority;
  • Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh;
  • Scottish Agricultural Wages Board;
  • Scottish Canals;
  • Scottish Children's Reporter Administration;
  • Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission;
  • Scottish Enterprise;
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency;
  • Scottish Funding Council;
  • Scottish Futures Trust;
  • Scottish Land Commission;
  • Scottish Legal Aid Board;
  • Scottish Legal Complaints Commission;
  • Scottish National Investment Bank;
  • NatureScot (replaced Scottish Natural Heritage);
  • Scottish Qualifications Authority;
  • Scottish Social Services Council;
  • Skills Development Scotland;
  • Sportscotland;
  • South of Scotland Enterprise Agency;
  • VisitScotland; and
  • Water Industry Commission for Scotland

8. Advisory NDPBs

This will include:

  • Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland;
  • Boundaries Scotland;
  • Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland;
  • Poverty and Inequality Commission;
  • Scottish Advisory Committee on Distinction Awards;
  • Scottish Commission on Social Security;
  • Scottish Law Commission; and
  • Scottish Local Authorities Remuneration Committee

9. Any other public authority not already specified, which has the ability to procure the frontline provision of public services from one or more private or third sector organisations

This will include:

  • Health & Social Care Integration Boards

10. Any other public authority not already specified, which has regulatory authority to set standards and issue operating licenses, permits or other types of authorisation to private or third sector organisations to carry out a public service function

11. Other

This will include:

  • Regional Transport Partnerships
  • Regional Economic Partnerships



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