Equality Budget Advisory Group minutes: May 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 26 May 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • Professor Angela O'Hagan (Chair)
  • Trevor Owen, Mainstreaming and Strategy Unit, SG
  • Kerrie McCrae-Morton, Mainstreaming and Strategy Unit, SG
  • Joe Chalmers, Mainstreaming Administration and Learning Coordinator, SG (Secretariat, Minutes)
  • Dougie McLaren, Public Spending, SG
  • Chris Birt, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • Kenny Stewart, EHRC
  • Richard Robinson, Audit Scotland (observer)
  • Sara Cowan, Scottish Women’s Budget Group


  • Joanna Anderson, Policy Manager, COSLA
  • Lisa McDonald, Economic Public Policy and Capability, SG
  • Tim Ellis, Deputy Director for Performance & Outcomes, SG
  • Dr Emma Congreve, Fraser of Allander Institute
  • Dr Alison Hosie, Scottish Human Rights Commission
  • Mirren Kelly, Local Government Finance, COSLA

Items and actions

Welcome and Introductions

Angela introduced the meeting and outlined the Agenda.

EBAG Recommendations

Trevor introduced the current draft response to the EBAG Recommendations, published July 2021, circulated to members ahead of the meeting.  Feedback was invited with the following general points made:

  • it would be helpful to see greater emphasis on the mainstreaming strategy which when released should show clear links to the recommendations
  • the links to the proposed Centre for Expertise in Equality and Human Rights in DG Economy should be emphasised
  • it would be helpful to understand timescales on where the “considered further” responses would be considered. Trevor stated that this will be taken forward with partnership with EBAG and consider how we will move forward with actions. He also indicated that we would look to engage with EBAG on the upcoming Mainstreaming Strategy as part of our general programme of engagement
  • it would be helpful to think about how impact assessing budget works with impact assessing PfG and whether we want to focus on this in a proactive manner rather than being reactive.  It would also be useful to look at international examples of impact assessing budgets so we can learn from them and implement this in Scotland. We need to be clear in what is meant by impact assessing the budget
  • Dougie commented specifically in relation to the ongoing Resource Spending Review, noting that there will be information around public sector workforce in the RSR but pay policy will be separate to this and will come out later. He further noted that the funding situation is extremely challenging in the current environment

In relation to the recommendations specifically:

  • recommendation 1 – EBAG colleagues asked whether there is an intention to impact assess the budget as this has not been done in the past. There is a strong belief that EQIAs need to be done at the high level as well as at individual policy level
  • recommendation 7 – noted that this response gives EBAG a great opportunity to push accessibility and the group would be grateful for engagement in the future to speak about best practice
  • recommendation 9 – asked whether there is anything that EBAG can do to progress this further. Trevor stated that Mainstreaming Unit are in discussion with the NPF Unit on this point
  • recommendation 10 – asked what analysis is there of current participation in order to address where there are possible gaps and also whether there are any processes/activities
  • recommendation 12 –thought external contributions could be helpful in thinking about what those outside government use this for
  • recommendation 30 –believed that this response focuses too much on D&I training rather than equalities analysis and EQIA training and impact on policy issues

Trevor thanked EBAG for their initial thoughts on the responses and that we will pick up specific points with relevant colleagues. Trevor asked that EBAG put any further comments in writing.


Colleagues to provide written comments on responses by Monday 6th June

EBAG Form and Function

Trevor introduced the paper sent to members regarding the form and function of EBAG. Members provided feedback:

  • it was agreed that a change of name to incorporate Human Rights into EBAG’s title would be beneficial
  • clear communications will need to be released to explain why and what the change means as well as providing a clear difference, through the explanation, as to why equalities and human rights are not the same thing
  • caution expressed as not to dilute the focus of EBAG if the remit is expanded
  • supportive of looking at public body spend
  • important to scrutinise implementation of recommendations
  • in terms of expanding the group to other stakeholders, careful consideration would need to be taken as to expertise and seniority.  Observer status and ad hoc invitations useful additional mechanisms to broaden expertise


Trevor gave a deadline of Monday 13th June for EBAG Members to provide written feedback on the Form and Function paper

Trevor and Angela to have meeting w/c 6th June



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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