Regulatory Review Group minutes: March 2024

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 19 March 2024.

Attendees and apologies

  • Professor Russel Griggs OBE, Chairman 
  • Susan Love, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants 
  • Fiona Richardson, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities 
  • Ewan MacDonald-Russell, Scottish Retail Consortium 
  • David MacKenzie, Trading Standards 
  • Wendy McCutcheon, Scottish Government 
  • Tracey Reilly, Consumer Scotland 
  • Cheryl McNulty, Scottish Government
  • Leigh Edwardson, Scottish Government
  • Lara Dunning, Scottish Government
  • Ross Stephen, Scottish Government (Secretariat) 
  • Alex Kidd, Scottish Government (Secretariat) 
  • Rachel Dolan, Scottish Government (Secretariat) 
  • Vlada Aikman, Office of Internal Markets (Observer) 


  • James Fowlie, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities 
  • Brian Lawrie, Society of Chief Officers of Environmental Health in Scotland
  • Douglas White, Consumer Scotland 
  • Judith Young, Scottish Government

Items and actions

Welcome, introductions and approval of minutes

Professor Russel Griggs OBE welcomed attendees and thanked them for participating in this virtual Regulatory Review Group (RRG) policy spotlight meeting. Minutes from the previous meeting (27 February 2024) were agreed. 

Update on Single use vapes communication of registered retailers

Members were advised that all registered retailers of single use vapes have been contacted as per the request of the RRG on 27 February. Officials confirmed they would ascertain and cascade the communication sent to registered retailers to Members.

Restrictions on promotions of food high in fat, salt and sugar

Policy officials from DG Health and Social Care were introduced and presented on the Restrictions on Promotions of Food High in Fat, Salt & Sugar and the current consultation which is open until 21 May 2024. Policy officials confirmed no decisions have yet been taken and will be subject to the consultation analysis and engagement.

There was a high-level discission on aspects of policy implementation, including ensuring that the Scottish Government considers all decisions within the context of cumulative impact, and that exemptions and the planned enforcement regime and resource be well-defined within the policy position arrived at. 

The RRG confirmed that they would provide initial considerations for officials at a working level and invite them to return for policy scrutiny and Ministerial advice to be produced in future. 

Framework bills

The RRG discussed Framework Bills and highlighted the following key points and considerations that will form part of advice on this to the Scottish Government when such legislation emerges for scrutiny:

  • There were reservations by the RRG around the timescales of Framework Bills. Decisions could have potentially been made years before the implementation and the landscape may have changed dramatically including those impacted. It was discussed that it may be useful for Framework Bills to have  a ‘life-expectancy’ due to changing circumstances and implementation of secondary measures using primary legislation powers should be subject to review and Parliamentary scrutiny.
  • The RRG highlighted that Framework legislation also has its positives including the flexibility to adapt regulations to stay updated with things such as technological advances. A template was suggested for Framework Bills to help with consistency. 
  • A concern was raised on the lack of specificity of a Framework Bill in Parliamentary  stages, highlighting that it can be more difficult to engage with business during the process. . The RRG also highlighted that Framework Bills can cause unease within the business community due to how broad they can be with the chance of unknowns being added in as it progresses. The RRG highlighted how positive engagement has led to good policy outcomes within Framework Bills, especially when they are delivered in a pragmatic way.

Next steps and any other business:

Professor Russel Griggs OBE informed Members of his attendance at the New Deal for Business Group meeting on 14 March 2024 where he presented on the progress and advice given by the RRG since its reinstatement. 

Scottish Government officials confirmed the Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Net Zero and Energy has requested a formal process to be put in place to monitor and report on the recommendations made by the RRG on an ongoing basis . This will ensure oversight and assurance that the recommendations are being considered as part of the policy development process. 

It was agreed the RRG would reschedule the next meeting until the end of April due to scheduled leave. Officials will issue invitations on behalf of the RRG.

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