Regulatory Review Group minutes: February 2018

Minutes of the meeting of the Regulatory Review Group that took place on 21 February 2018.

Attendees and apologies

In attendance:

Professor Russel Griggs OBE (Chairman) CBI
Gregor Scotland CBI
Sheila Scobie CMA
Susan Love FSB
Jill Rosie Scottish Government
Julie Christie Scottish Government
Douglas Suttie Scottish Government


Alice Telfer ICAS
Charandeep Singh Scottish Chambers of Commerce
Ian Cass FPB
Scott Walker NFUS
Robert Nicol COSLA
Sarah Smith Regulatory Delivery, BEIS
David Skilling Scotland Office
Ewan MacDonald-Russell SRC
Helen Martin STUC
Oonagh Gil Scottish Government
Marion McCormack Scottish Government

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

1. The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced Julie Christie who has replaced Wendy McCutcheon.

Agenda item 1 – Minutes of previous meeting

2. The minutes were approved and an update on action points provided.

Agenda item 2 – Chairman’s report

3. The Chair provided a verbal update on recent meetings listed in the tabled paper.


4. The Chair provided an update on his meeting regarding the Scottish National Investment Bank and confirmed that an announcement on this was likely to be made in early spring.

Regulation meeting with SG

5. Prof. Griggs and Mary McAllan recently met with Michael Russel MSP, Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe and it went well. This meeting was to discuss Brexit issues and the role of RRG. The Minister asked Prof. Griggs to focus on the impact Brexit could have on the food and drink sector in relation to trade. A small working group consisting of Food Standards Scotland and teams from across the SG recently met and decided to follow three customer journeys:

  • exporting to Europe
  • exporting outside Europe
  • importing from Europe

Timber supply meeting with Mr Ewing and forestry stakeholders

6. The meeting focussed on the process of wood supply and difficulties processors face in obtaining wood. Jill is liaising with Forestry Commission on this issue.

Action point:

  • Secretariat to approach Forestry Commission colleagues for update.

Legal services review in Scotland

7. Prof. Griggs and Jill recently met with the Chair of the Panel. It is likely that the RRG will be asked to evidence check a recommendation to Minister to establish if it is in line with regulations.

Scottish Government review of the Scottish Regulators Strategic Code of Practice

8. The review will close on 28 February. A report of the findings will then be prepared and circulated to the Group.

Action point:

  • Secretariat to circulate a report of the findings of the review to the group.

Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme: second consultation on local heat and energy efficiency strategies, and regulation of district and communal heating

9. Nothing further to add to the circulated note.

Registration and licensing of animal sanctuaries and rehoming activities in Scotland

10. A BRIA is required for this and has been done.

Consultation on Electoral Reform

11. The RRG does not have a role in this.

Common Agricultural Policy Greening Group: discussion paper

12. The report is now available.

Consultation on SME access to the Financial Ombudsman Service

13. There is no Financial Regulator in Scotland. Currently there is no complaints procedure in Scotland for SMEs to complain about banks, it is estimated that around 200 complaints are received each year. Adding a clause into lending agreements that if there is a disagreement the matter should go to arbitration has been suggested but this is not being taken forward in Scotland. This matter will be taken forward by UK Government Finance.

Agenda item 3 – RRG format

14. It was suggested that the frequency of meetings is reduced to 2 per year but with momentum maintained through regular video and tele-conferencing. The work plan for the group could be separated into workstreams with individual members leading on the delivery of each workstream with the support of the group and wider stakeholders. It was proposed that the meetings will last half a day and external guests will be invited to discuss relevant issues. It was also suggested that the membership of the RRG is reviewed to ensure that it includes representatives from all affected sectors.

15. The Group felt that this is a sensible approach to take, they agreed that having a focus on specific time-limited tasks would be beneficial. There was a sense that the momentum of the Regulatory Reform Act has been lost and that this issue should be looked at in more detail.

Action point:

  • Secretariat to request views from all members of the group about the format of future meetings.
  • Group to be set up to examine the Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Act.
  • Meeting to be arranged between Mr Wheelhouse and Prof. Griggs

Agenda item 4 – AOB

Scottish Expert Advisory Panel on the Collaborative Economy Report

16. The report has been issued and circulated to the group for comment. The consensus was that the recommendations were vague.

Action point:

  • Jill will review the report and pick out any recommendations which could be taken forward by the Group. These will be circulated to the Group.

17. The date of the next meeting is still to be confirmed.

Action point:

  • Secretariat will confirm the date of the next meeting.

RRG Secretariat, March 2018



Tel: 0300 244 1210

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road


Tel: 0300 244 1210

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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