Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Bill - Future-Proofing Legislation Impact Assessment
All references to technology in the Bill remains ‘technologically neutral’. References to modes of delivery and methods of communication are not restrictive to ensure that future technological developments will not negatively impact the purpose and implementation of the scheme set out in the legislation.
The Bill establishes a time-bound scheme, which will aim to open as soon as possible following Royal Assent. The proposed lifespan of the scheme is 5 years, although the Bill includes the power for Scottish Ministers to consider extending that period if appropriate. Due to the limited lifespan of this legislation and scheme, futureproofing the legislation is not a major concern.
Accessibility considerations have been included within the Bill to ensure the scheme is inclusive for survivors of in-care child abuse, a specific user group whose needs the scheme must address. For context, during the time period that the pre-legislative consultation was live, 112 responses were submitted online and 179 hard copies of the consultation were submitted through the post.
These numbers show that a higher proportion of this group prefer to deal with offline hard copy material as opposed to online material. With this in mind and to ensure equality of access to survivors, we will ensure that all activities and communication relating to the legislation is the same online as it is offline (i.e. the same materials for online activity is equivalent to off-line activity, thus reaffirming accessibility principles).
This will be done by enshrining the principle of technological neutrality into the wording of the legislation, continuing to provide hard copy as well as online versions of application forms, guidance and other information, and by providing assistance to applicants in a variety of formats. This will demonstrate that the scheme is fair, open and accessible to all. The operational procedures and processes will be developed alongside the parliamentary passage of the Bill as part of the implementation phase of the scheme.