- 19 Oct 2017
Attendees and apologies
- Professor Russel Griggs OBE (Chairman), CBI
- Ewan MacDonald-Russell, SRC
- Helen Martin, STUC
- Gregor Scotland, CBI Scotland
- Marion McCormack, Scottish Government
- Jill Rosie, Scottish Government
- Oonagh Gil, Scottish Government
- Laura McGlynn, Scottish Government
- Susan Love, FSB
- Scott Walker, NFUS
- Alice Telfer, ICAS
- Garry Clark, Scottish Chambers of Commerce
- Ian Cass, FPB
- Robert Nicol, COSLA
- Sarah Smith, Regulatory Delivery, BEIS
- David Skilling, Scotland Office
- Wendy McCutcheon, Scottish Government
Items and actions
Welcome & Introductions
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and mentioned how pleased he was to have the STUC in attendance.
Agenda Item 1 – Minutes of Previous Meeting
The minutes were approved and an update on action points provided.
Agenda Item 2 – Chairman’s Report
The Chair provided an oral update on recent meetings listed in the tabled paper.
When discussing CAP Greening, the Chair advised that it is important for Scotland to approach the UK Government early and argue that the farming sector needs to be treated in a different way to others.
Ewan will be attending the meeting on the Collaborative Economy following this meeting on behalf of RRG.
Post-Legislative Scrutiny Stage in the Scottish Parliament. This stage in essence, replaces the Stage 4 process implemented by the UK Government in the passing of a bill and it has been raised with RRG by various MSPs previously. It is understood that the Committee will not scrutinise the entire act but only pieces of legislation. It had been suggested previously that a fourth stage in the bill process could be where the lead official for the bill is consulted on all of the amendments made by MSPs and asked whether they still fit the aim of the bill or are they counter-productive. It was suggested that RRG could be used as a vehicle to highlight the impact of amendments to MSPs. The STUC view was that a post-legislative process would be welcomed but consideration would need to be given to the nature of the process.
Action Points: RRG to submit evidence suggesting that the principles of Better Regulation could be used as part of the post-legislative scrutiny and to enquire as to how what parts of the bill will be chosen for scrutiny.
Agenda Item 3 - Scottish Consumer and Competition Taskforce
Laura McGlynn from the Consumer and Competition Team provided an overview of the taskforce and their aims. The points raised during discussion were:
- Consumer Focus Scotland (CFS) won’t be up and running until the end of 2018 so the taskforce has been established to look at issues affecting the landscape now
- CFS will be an independent body with the same powers as Consumer Focus
- In the Scottish Government, there are five ministers (overall lead is Keith Brown; Cabinet Secretary for Economy) who have responsibility for regulation and consumer issues so it is important that a cohesive approach is given to this work
- There is an argument that bringing these two different issues together under the one banner could lead to conflict as some outcomes may be weighted towards consumers
- Some of the structural issues may be drowned out if focus is given to consumers or through a business lens
- The only power that the Scottish Government currently has in this area is for ministers to ask the Competition and Market Authority for a second stage market investigation
- The Chair suggested that the Competition and Consumer Team may want to have a discussion with Philip Ryecroft
- Laura advised that one of the biggest challenges the team have is trying to get people who don’t want to or, feel they don’t need to, to engage
- The Consumer and Competition Team are flexible with regards to the lifespan of the Taskforce
Action Points: RRG to think about what they will submit to the taskforce’s call for evidence.
Agenda Item 4 - Part 3 of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 Update
During the discussion on the paper, the following points were raised:
- Is there merit in just following the English model?
- Do we know how many advisors are UKAS accredited?
- There are many cultural barriers rather than legislative ones that need to be overcome
- Many structural barriers between the Scottish and English models exist which proves a challenge
- SFRS see many of the recommendations as being the responsibility of the Local Authorities
- Lack of financial resource is a significant issue
Action Points: RRG to invite SG policy officials from Fire and Rescue Team along to talk through the recommendation update in more detail. RRG need to determine a timescale for the SFRS to implement the recommendations.
Agenda Item 5 – Small Business Commissioner Update
The original timescale for the introduction of a small business commissioner has slowed down due to the General election and the UK Government will need to wait for the appointment of a new minister before the outcome of the application sift can be confirmed. The Scottish Government are supportive of the concept.
Action Points: RRG to keep an eye on this and revisit in September.
Agenda Item 6 – Attendees for Future RRG Meetings
It was agreed that:
- SEPA should be the next organisation invited along to an RRG meeting
- The invitation to SG officials to discuss Brexit should be delayed until after the Chair meets with the Michael Russell; Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe
- RRG should invite SG officials leading on the Lobbying Bill along to a meeting that coincides with the publication of their guidance
- RRG should invite SFRS to either attend a meeting or write to RRG (as per agenda item 4)
AOB – Nobody raised any AOB
Action Points: Secretariat to enquire if the fire regulation group is still functioning. Secretariat to check with Susan Love if she still wishes for a discussion around Air Weapons to be included on the agenda. Secretariat to circulate a list of meeting dates for next year. Secretariat to arrange for Sheila Scobie to deliver workshops across the Scottish Government.
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