Public appointment: Member appointed to the Scottish Commission on Social Security

Public appointments news release.

The Minister for Social Security and Local Government, Mr Macpherson, today announced the appointment of Marilyn Howard as a Member of the Scottish Commission on Social Security.


Marilyn Howard is currently a postgraduate research student at the University of Bristol. Her experience includes policy and strategy development when working for the Department for Work and Pensions and the Disability Rights Commission. She has also undertaken policy and research work for UK-wide disability organisations, Women’s Aid (England) and for a variety of organisations in a freelance capacity. Former roles include membership of the UK Government’s Disability Living Allowance Advisory Board and the Disability Employment Advisory Committee. Marilyn’s research interests include social security, poverty and equality, with publications on social security policy and women, carers, and disabled people. She has also worked with individuals and communities on benefits advice and advocacy.


This appointment will be for four years and will run from 1 February 2023 to 31 January 2027.

This appointment is regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.


This appointment is part-time and attracts a remuneration of £225 per day for a time commitment of 36 days per annum.

Other ministerial appointments

Marilyn Howard does not hold any other public appointments.

Political activity

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.  However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public.   

Marilyn Howard has had no political activity within the last five years.


The Scottish Commission on Social Security (SCoSS) plays an essential role in the development and delivery of a Scottish Social Security system based on fairness, dignity and respect.

SCoSS provides independent scrutiny of the Scottish social security system and its full functions are set out in section 22 of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018.

SCoSS provides detailed analysis of proposed social security legislation and regulations referred to it by Ministers, making recommendations for improvement where necessary.

The role of SCoSS is also to scrutinise the Scottish Government’s delivery of the commitments set out in the Social Security Charter.

SCoSS is separate from the Scottish Government, and carries out its work independently of both Scottish Ministers and the Scottish Parliament.

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