Deposit Return Scheme – gateway review: report – June 2021

This is an evidence-based snapshot of the status of the Deposit and Return Scheme (DRS) for Scotland programme carried out by an independent review team on 14-16 June 2021. It was performed as part of the Scottish Government’s review into the implementation timetable for DRS.

Annex D

Progress against previous Gateway Review (19/11/2019 – 21/11/2019) recommendations:

Ref No.




Policy and Business Context

The practical operational workings for on-line ordering and deposit returns needs further consideration and the proposed regulations need to provide improved clarity on their practical handling for deposit return and payment.

The Programme Board considered a paper on online takeback in Dec 19 with a follow-up paper in Jan 20 and endorsed the approach which was written into the final Regulations. CLOSED.


Governance Arrangements

Appropriate and effective engagement with the SA Group and IAG should be considered for the waste industry.

The future role of IAG was considered as part of draft Management Case at the Jun 20

Programme Board. Intention is for the IAG (or similar body) to transition over to SA leadership (discussed at the IAG itself in January 2020). Waste sector involvement is therefore for SA to consider. CLOSED.


The Programme Board should re-examine the appropriate role and function of the Programme Board, Implementation Advisory Group and working groups for the implementation phase.

This was considered as part of review of

Management Case at Jun 20 Programme Board. The Board ToR were updated including reflection of importance of close working with SA once approved. Intention is for the IAG (or similar body) to transition over to SA leadership (discussed at the IAG itself in Jan 20).



Establishing the success criteria for DRS golive

The 'Day 1' go-live success criterial for DRS need to be documented and agreed by the Programme Board. Upon agreement, a suitable 'DRS readiness for live service' dash board tracking system should be established and progress reported at each Programme Board.

Progress on this recommendation was limited until an application from a prospective SA had been received and which made clear their implementation plan and approach to delivery of the scheme.

The Review Team consider that this recommendation remains open and that its value and intent remain valid. At the earliest opportunity the Programme Team should continue to pursue definition of go-live critical success criteria with the SA. OPEN.


Regulator Preparations

A detailed implementation plan needs to be worked up by SEPA and suitable resource applied to progress its preparation work more rapidly.

A PID for establishing the Regulator Project was completed in Aug 20. This Project is now progressing within a formal project management structure. CLOSED.


Approving the Systems Administrator

The mechanisms for approving the DRS Scheme Administrator(s) and the legal and procurement implications of Scottish

Government participation and role in forming, approving and maintaining the SA needs to be rapidly clarified.

The Programme Board approved a high-level approach to SA approval process at its Dec 19 meeting. An SA application form was published in Jun 20. The Programme Board agreed details of the application assessment process in Jan 20. CLOSED.


Establishing the Scheme Administrator

It is recommended that once legislation is laid down, at the earliest opportunity the

Programme Board draws 'start-up' activities to a close, makes these available to industry partners and adjusts its focus to the strategic delivery of DRS, including wider benefits, and the 'in-service' monitoring and governance regime.

The Feb 21 Programme Board agreed to close the relevant workstreams. Products from these activities were made available to the prospective SA (now CSL) through the information access agreement; this work is essentially complete although periodic requests for less critical products are still received from CSL. CLOSED.


Business Case Benefits Realisation

The Programme Team should revisit the current Benefits Realisation Plan and re-assess their deliverability through the proposed Systems Administrator arrangements.

The FBC – Stage 2 should be updated once this work has been completed ensure that there are clear owners identified for each benefit area and appropriate baseline measures and reporting arrangement to the Programme Board on delivery established.

The Programme Board approved a benefits realisation strategy and associated plan at its Feb 20 meeting. Now that an SA is in place further work is required, collaborating

with the SA, to baseline and track

Programme benefits. OPEN


Future Assurance Activities

The next Gateway Review 0 should be conducted no later than one month before approving the designation of the SA.

Alternative external assurance was utilised to comment on the SA approval process, prior to

SA approval. CLOSED



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