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.

Financial Regime

39. The Agency is funded from the Scottish Government's Social Security and Older People portfolio budget which is proposed by Scottish Ministers as part of the budget setting process, including spending reviews, and authorised by Scottish Parliament through the Annual Budget Act.

40. The Agency will work closely with the Social Security Directorate to identify and plan for the Agency's operating costs. There will be separate disclosure of benefits and operating costs in the Budget Act.

41. The financial delegations for Social Security Scotland are set out in Annex B. Within these, the Agency can receive receipts, commit to spend (in accordance with procurement legislation and guidance) and make payments subject to the limitations set out in Annex B.

42. The Agency maintains a system of delegated authority which aligns with the Scottish Government's Scheme of Delegation. This covers internal structures and working relationships, the delegation process, internal controls through the certificate of assurance process and areas of financial responsibility and delegated authority.

43. The Chief Executive is responsible for ensuring that financial procedures comply with guidance issued by the SG Directorate for Financial Management and the Scottish Procurement and Commercial Directorate. The Agency is expected to comply with the requirements of the SPFM and other relevant guidance. The Agency will also put into effect any relevant recommendations of Scottish parliamentary committees or other parliamentary authority accepted by the Scottish Government. The Chief Executive should consult and engage with the relevant core SG Finance Business Partner on an ongoing basis, and will seek their prior approval for any novel, contentious, repercussive or politically sensitive financial transactions.

44. The Agency operates financial systems and management arrangements which provide assurance as to the regularity, propriety and value for money in the stewardship of public funds. All items of expenditure and receipts should meet the fundamental requirements of propriety and regularity, according with relevant legislation, the relevant delegated authority, and the SPFM. All financial management processes are subject to appropriate control measures to mitigate the risk of fraud or inadvertent error, and these will be subject to regular review to maximise effectiveness.

45. It is required that the Agency will closely consult with the SG Directorate for Financial Management as it develops, implements and operates the necessary financial management arrangements and financial processes to enable robust strategic and in-year financial management and that the Agency has the necessary arrangements in place to provide the SG Directorate for Financial Management with the complete, accurate and timely information it requires to plan for and manage the demand-led benefit expenditure, monitor the Agency's expenditure, ensuring that its financial transactions are adequately reflected in the SG's consolidated accounts.

46. The Agency has arrangements (including a policy statement and response plan) to ensure that it is well placed to counter fraud in line with the SPFM taking into account the Scottish legislation for social security benefits. All financial management processes are subject to appropriate control measures to mitigate the risk of fraud or inadvertent error, and these will be subject to regular review to maximise effectiveness.

47. The Chief Executive shall appoint a designated officer to act as the main signatory for confirmation of the quarterly VAT return. The signatory shall confirm that the Agency has appropriate systems and processes in place with regards to VAT compliance to allow the Agency's element within the Scottish Administration VAT return to be submitted.

48. The Agency publishes information on expenditure as required by the SPFM and Ministers, including details of payments in excess of £25,000 and electronic Purchasing Card transactions of £500 and above.


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