Regulatory Review Group minutes: October 2017

Minutes of the meeting of the Regulatory Review Group that took place on 5 October 2017.

Attendees and apologies

In Attendance:

Professor Russel Griggs OBE (Chairman) CBI
Ewan MacDonald-Russell SRC
Gregor Scotland CBI
Helen Martin STUC
Christopher Thomson Scottish Government (agenda item 4)
Emma Lopinska Scottish Government (agenda item 4)
Jill Rosie Scottish Government
Wendy McCutcheon Scottish Government


Alice Telfer ICAS
Charandeep Singh Scottish Chambers of Commerce
Ian Cass FPB
Scott Walker NFUS
Sheila Scobie CMA
Susan Love FSB
Robert Nicol COSLA
Sarah Smith Regulatory Delivery, BEIS
David Skilling Scotland Office
Oonagh Gil Scottish Government
Marion McCormack Scottish Government

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

1. The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Agenda item 1 – Minutes of previous meeting

2. The minutes were approved and an update on action points provided. It was noted that Jill Rosie will be meeting with licensing officials to discuss the air licensing and public entertainment RRG questions. Jill also stated that if any RRG members had questions for licensing to pass them on to her and she would raise them at her meeting.

Agenda item 2 – Chairman’s report

3. The Chair provided an oral update on recent meetings listed in the tabled paper. He provided an update on his meeting with the micro-abattoir business highlighting issues around all the regulatory asks; and stated that he would speak to FSS around some of these issues along with a discussion on smokeries.

4. The secretariat provided an update on the Code of Practice meeting. The questionnaire on the Code has been agreed and will be published on the SG website along with targeted emailing. This questionnaire is to gain the views of regulators and those who are regulated on the Code.

5. The meeting with Mike Russel MSP, Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe had gone well. This meeting was to discuss Brexit issues and the role of RRG.

6. Ewan MacDonald-Russell provided an update on the Collaborative Economy meetings. The meetings he had recently attended focused on different finance models and the temporary holiday accommodation market.

Action points:

  •  The Chair to discuss regulatory issues with FSS.

Agenda item 3 – Scottish Government’s approach to strategic business engagement

7. Chris Thomson and Emma Lopinska were welcomed to the meeting. Chris presented on the work of his team.

8. The aim of the team is to improve SG responsiveness to business concerns and ideas; along with working collaboratively with business (such as attending RRG meetings). To do this, the team needs to ensure that SG becomes more adept at understanding business engagement. This team will develop an economic narrative to assist with briefings for Ministers and Senior Officials and help to share knowledge and develop consistency. Chris outlined his role of taking forward collaborative project work which comes from the engagement, working with policy areas, and creating “virtual teams” across policy areas in order to respond to business intelligence. His colleague, Karen Halford, will take forward the workstream relating to mapping, collating and analysing the intelligence gathered from the business engagement across SG.

The immediate aims of the team are:

  •  Mapping the current engagement picture across SG.
  •  Collating intelligence into a usable, digital resource.
  •  Identifying any early-stage project work which can be taken forward.
  •  Identifying opportunities for strategic business engagement at senior official level.

Medium term aims:

  •  Routinely obtaining feedback and intelligence from business engagement.
  •  Interrogating intelligence to identify trends and future policy directions.
  •  Picking individual ideas from engagement which may add value to the economy, working with policy teams on these.
  •  Developing policy and briefing lines to be used across government.
  •  Feeding back to business.

Long term aims:

  •  Shaping the business engagement narrative.
  •  Driving a pro-active, strategically-themed programme of engagement.

9. What this will mean to business include improved links to economically themed activity across the SG; business sourced ideas for policy development; demonstration of responsiveness; and Co-ordination of events and meetings to maximise use of business and Ministerial time.

10. To ensure the success of this strategic business engagement Chris stated that from business and organisations they needed dialogue, information on planned events, business ideas or concerns, along with expertise and insight.

11. A dedicated email address has been set up for any communication which is -

Action points:

  •  All members to advise their members of this work and to feed into it.
  •  Secretariat to invite Chris and Emma back to a future RRG meeting.

Agenda item 4 – RRG workplan

12. Jill provided an overview of the tabled papers. The paper entitled Draft Cover Sheet will be finalised after RRG agreement and this will be used for briefings, etc to provide an overview of what RRG is working on.

13. The spreadsheet will be RRG’s live workplan and will be for RRG use only. There was then a discussion on the headings within the spreadsheet. It was suggested that there could be a tab for Ministerial connections ie if a Minister was involved / was part of their portfolio / had an interest, etc. The risk heading could also include political aspects.

14. The Chair suggested that secretariat should speak to John McNairney regarding the Jim McKinnon report on Forestry as there were regulatory issues included within this report.

15. The Chair also sought views on how we could consider consumer membership to RRG. At this moment there does not seem to be a main consumer body in Scotland as there had been previously in the guise of Consumer Focus Scotland.

16. The Chair closed this part of the meeting by stating that if any members had an interest in any of the working groups to let secretariat know and they can help to link in to these groups

Action points:

  •  Secretariat to enquire about the Jim McKinnon report.
  •  Members to state any interest in the working groups to the secretariat.

Agenda item 5 – AOB

17. There were no items under AOB.

18. Date of next meeting, Wednesday 15 November 2017 from 10 am – 12 noon.

RRG Secretariat, October 2017



Tel: 0300 244 1210

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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