Public appointment: members reappointed to the Scottish Commission on Social Security

Public appointment news release.

The Minister for Social Security and Local Government, today announced the reappointment of Sharon McIntyre and Judith Paterson as Members of the Scottish Commission on Social Security


Sharon McIntyre has been head of Career Information, Advice and Guidance for Skills Development Scotland since 1 March 2021, she was previously Director of Operations at Changeworks, a third sector and environmental charity. Her background and career has always been focussed on tackling inequality. She brings leadership experience across all sectors, involving multi-partnership approaches and brings with her a wealth of experience leading high performing, multi-disciplinary teams across education, learning, social care, housing and environmental sectors. The skills she brings to the board are strategic stakeholder management, business planning, change management, governance, risk management and conflict management.

Judith Paterson is Head of Advice and Rights for Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland (CPAG). She joined CPAG in 2001 from Disability Alliance, now part of Disability Rights (UK). She has worked in the field of social security advice for 30 years and is an author of guides on social security law and practice. She was previously a member of the independent Disability and Carers Benefits Expert Advisory Group, appointed by the Scottish Government and a member of the Social Security Advisory Committee, advising the UK Department for Work and Pensions.


The reappointment for Sharon McIntyre will be for two years and will run from 23 January 2022 until 22 January 2024. The reappointment for Judith Paterson will be for four years and will run from 23 January 2022 until 22 January 2026.

The reappointments are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.


The reappointments are part-time and attract a remuneration of £225 per day for a time commitment of 36 days per annum.

Other ministerial appointments

Sharon McIntyre and Judith Paterson do 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.

Sharon McIntyre and Judith Paterson have had no political activity in the last five years.


The Scottish Commission on Social Security (SCoSS) was, established by the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018. It is what is known as an advisory non-departmental public body (NDPB). SCoSS opened for business in February 2019.

The Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 sets out the key roles SCoSS plays in providing independent scrutiny of the devolved social security system.

Its specific functions, as detailed in the Act, are to:

  • provide expert independent scrutiny of draft benefit regulations. Regulations are known as secondary legislation. They often contain very important parts of the law. SCoSS scrutinises draft regulations as part of what is known as a ‘super affirmative’ Parliamentary procedure. This means that Scottish Ministers must refer draft benefit regulations to SCoSS for scrutiny, SCoSS must produce a report with their recommendations and observations and Scottish Ministers must respond to SCoSS’s report to say whether the accept, partially accept or reject SCoSS’s recommendations. When SCoSS scrutinises draft regulations it must say how well they reflect the social security principles in the Act, and human rights
  • prepare a report, from time to time, containing an assessment on how well the expectations of the Social Security Charter are being fulfilled and make recommendations for improvement if they are not. Reports must be submitted to both Scottish Government Ministers and the Scottish Parliament)
  • report on any matter relevant to social security that Scottish Government Ministers or the Scottish Parliament ask it to

For further information, SCoSS Secretariat can be contacted via

Back to top