Equality and Human Rights Budget Advisory Group minutes: October 2022

Minutes from the group meeting held on 27 October 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • Angela O'Hagan (AOH)


  • Joe Chalmers (JC)
  • Naomi Clark (NC)


  • Rob Priestley (RP)
  • Tom Russon (TR)
  • Tom Lamplugh (SG)
  • David Holmes (DH)
  • Joanne Briggs (JB)
  • Simon Wakefield (SW)
  • Kenny Stewart (KS)
  • Sara Cowan (SC)
  • Joanna Anderson (JA)


  • Julia McCombie (JMc), Scottish Government
  • Jacqueline Farmer (JF), Audit Scotland
  • Jillian Matthew, Audit Scotland


  • Elisabeth Campbell (ECa)
  • Chris Birt (CB)
  • Emma Congreve (EC)
  • Jillian Matthew (JM)
  • Ben Walsh (BW)
  • Fiona Page (FP)
  • Alison Hosie (AH)

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions 

AOH welcomed the group, updated on apologies, outlined the agenda, and introduced the group to the new action tracker.

A brief update was also provided on the 2023 EHRBAG work plan that will be sent to members for comment. it was agreed that the standing item of an update to budget processes will be reinstated moving forward.

Presentation on the Centre of Expertise in Economy

DH presented slides on the Centre of Expertise in Equality and Human Rights, providing context to the foundations, the purpose, model and structure, progress so far and future plans.

Following the presentation, there was discussion on: reaching out to specific policy areas, local government involvement with the centre, further training on impact assessments, and the resource available to better develop the knowledge gap on equalities and human rights

Action: JA to provide DH with a contact at Convention of Scottish local authorities for engagement with the centre.

There was further positive feedback on the data gathering process, and the group seen value in repeating the Centre surveys every six to nine months to measure any improvements. The group members also identified that an academic partnership could help measure improvement within the process by providing feedback.

Action: external members to explore input into academic partnerships with the centre.

Exploring the opportunities from the Centre in the upcoming months is important for the group, with possible influences to the culture within government, both from a legal perspective and better shaping policy by embedding equality and human rights.

Discussion on the National Advisory Council on Women and Girls Recommendation on Gender Budgeting and Intersectionality

Recommendation - Gender budgeting and intersectionality (2020): We call on the Scottish Government to integrate intersectional gender budget analysis into the Scottish Budget process, and to give this a statutory footing.

AOH introduced the purpose of revisiting a discussion of this recommendation to the group. This had been previously raised in October 2021, where members were asked how effective pursuing a statutory footing for this recommendation would be.

Members highlighted concerns relating to resourcing and capacity within the Scottish Government to give this recommendation statutory footing. However, also acknowledged if not done, the risk is the lack of emphasis to proactively embed this across Scottish Government and the public sector.

Another point raised was what the recommendation would mean for government policy. It was felt by group members from previous experience with impact assessments that Scottish Government do not invest enough time into this area.

KS noted the Public Sector Equality Duty can be a vehicle for the recommendation, using the current review, to take it forward and embed an intersectional approach.

Action: KS to discuss the Public Sector Equality Duty review with RP.

AOH noted that there may be opportunities in the forthcoming Human Rights Bill to link to existing legal obligations in order to strengthen the requirement to undertake assessments.   

AOH concluded this agenda item with a forward look of the international comparators session where the group can gain insight from international colleagues on their statutory commitments, which may further help with the group’s thinking.

Action: AOH and Scottish Government colleagues to share outputs with Co-Chairs of National Advisory Council for Woman and Girls on discussion.

Any other business

Emergency Budget Review update

TR provided context to the ongoing Emergency Budget Review process and its publication date being delayed. There was also an update from SW about the high-level summary of equality and fairness that will be published alongside the Emergency Budget Review document.

TR stated that a further update on the timeline and process will be provided in future for the 2023/24 budget process as well as the Equality and Fairer Scotland Budget Statement, and that a date has been set for 15 December.

The next meeting for the Equality and Human Rights Budget Advisory Group will be the session on international comparators and is scheduled for 17 November 2022.



Telephone: 0300 244 4000

Equality and Budget Advisory Group
Scottish Government
Mainstreaming and Strategy Unit
Area 3H North
Victoria Quay

Equality and Human Rights Budget Advisory Group

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