Disclosure (Scotland) Bill: partial BRIA

The partial business and regulatory impact assessment (BRIA) contains an assessment of the costs, benefits and risks of implementing the Disclosure (Scotland) Bill.

8. Legal Aid Impact Test

The mandatory scheme would be supported by a requirement, punishable by an offence, that a person working in a regulated role in Scotland must first be a member of the PVG Scheme and had a Level 2 PVG disclosure issued to them.

It is not possible to determine in advance the number of people who should fall under the mandatory scheme who are not currently members or how many would be likely to avoid obtaining membership. As of May 2019, there were 1,240,343 scheme members, however, not all members are currently undertaking regulated work.

The Bill introduces new mechanisms for reviewing certain types of information in disclosure products. It will be possible to have the inclusion of certain convictions or police information reviewed by an independent reviewer. There will also be a right of appeal to a sheriff on a point of law against any decision of the independent reviewer. This is similar to the right of appeal which currently exists in relation to certain removable convictions under both the 1997 Act and 2007 Act. Disclosure Scotland do not envisage there being any additional costs to SLAB in relation to the application to a sheriff for the removal of a conviction from a Level 2 disclosure. Disclosure Scotland believe there will be a reduction in the current costs to SLAB as applicants will be making their appeals to the independent reviewer, not the sheriff. An appeal will be available to the sheriff on the point of law only. Disclosure Scotland believe that these figures will be very low, with costs predicted to be no more than £8,000 per year. This is based on the fact that these would be similar to other civic government appeals, where costs are limited to £1,000.

The Bill also creates a new form of application to a sheriff in relation to standard conditions imposed where a person is under consideration for listing. Ministers must apply to a sheriff to have conditions confirmed, or they will lapse after a prescribed period of time. Disclosure Scotland predict that these numbers will be very low. Although different due to the fact that the appeal will be for Scottish Ministers not individuals, we have based this assumption on the nearest example, the number of individuals who have appealed their inclusion on the barred list. Since the inception of the PVG Act in 2011 there have been 52 appeals. The number of people listed each year is far higher than the predicted number of cases with standard conditions. Costs are predicted to be no more than £7,000 per year, based on the fact that these would be similar to other civic government appeals, where costs are limited to £1,000.



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