Social Security Scotland: framework document

Sets out the detailed accountability and governance framework for Social Security Scotland, and the context for the Agency's relationship with Scottish Ministers and core Scottish Government Directorates.

Relationship with Government, Stakeholders and Other Bodies

92. The Agency will work closely with directorates across Scottish Government to ensure that its services are delivered to a high standard, are in line with Scottish Government policies and that feedback of service users appropriately inform policy development and ongoing work to reduce inequalities, alleviate poverty, and target a Fairer Scotland.

93. The Agency will provide on behalf of Ministers such evidence, information and/or assistance as may be appropriate to the new Scottish Commission on Social Security ( SCoSS). The Agency will also work with the SCoSS, or any sub-committees the SCoSS establishes, as it requires to carry out its statutory duties under section 22 of the 2018 Act.

94. The Agency will work with the Department for Work and Pensions ( DWP) and HMRC on the implementation of powers under the Scotland Act 2016 and the 2018 Act, and the successful administration of benefits across the UK. This will include sharing information, as deemed appropriate and proportionate on devolved and, where appropriate, reserved benefits. Data Sharing and/or Processing Agreements, or Memoranda of Understanding, will be put in place with DWP and other public sector organisations where there is a legal basis and business requirement to share data to deliver devolved social security in Scotland. Agency Agreements will be established where DWP continues to carry out any administrative functions in respect of the devolved benefits. These will be established on a case by case basis and are expected to be temporary arrangements with limited lifespans.

95. The Agency will establish close working relationships with a wide range of organisations in order to ensure that it delivers the best service and outcomes to people accessing support. The Agency's stakeholder engagement approach will ensure that people are informed of Agency services, that Agency services are aligned with existing advice and assistance provision across Scotland and that effective referral arrangements are in place so that organisations can directly refer into the Agency's services and people engaging with the Agency can also access additional support out with what the Agency itself can provide. These relationships will also provide a route for stakeholders to give feedback regarding the Agency's services.

96. The Agency will conduct wide scale awareness raising work to ensure that people are aware of how to access its services. It will also engage with a range of national organisations, including NHS Scotland, equalities groups and third sector organisations to inform the design and delivery of its services. Engagement will take place through the Agency Operations Reference Group [12] , which has a membership of stakeholders from across public and third sectors, and on-going relationship management with individual organisations.

97. The Agency will also build on the Delivery Agreement it has in place with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities ( COSLA) [13] which provides an overarching framework for joint working when Agency staff are located in local authority buildings. In preparation for the Agency's local delivery service individual agreements will be established with each local authority to ensure consistency of service when Agency staff are based in local authority facilities. These will also aim to encourage the joining up of services and detail the working arrangements for co-location of local Agency staff.

98. The Agency will also work with a range of local organisations to build an understanding of community needs and local service provision. It will use this information to make sure the Agency's local delivery function is based in optimum locations for people to easily access assistance and joined up with other services available in that area. The Agency's staff will work within communities to build relationships, provide a local point of contact and become a valued and trusted partner in the community, working with other organisations to deliver the best service for people requiring support.


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