Publication - Minutes

Research Data Scotland (RDS) Transition Board minutes: 24 June 2021

Published: 5 Oct 2021
Digital Directorate
Part of:
Economy, Public sector
Date of meeting: 24 Jun 2021

Minutes of the Research Data Scotland (RDS) Transition Board held on 24 June 2021.

5 Oct 2021
Research Data Scotland (RDS) Transition Board minutes: 24 June 2021

Attendees and apologies


  • Roger Halliday - Chair
  • Carole Morris
  • Alan Ferrier
  • Alessia Morris
  • Chris Dibben
  • Angela Daly
  • Jill Pell
  • Albert King
  • Nicola Kerr
  • Tom Barlow
  • Scott Heald
  • Neil Rawlins – minute taker
  • Nora Kellock (UoE) – observer
  • Christopher Murphy (MacRoberts) – observer
  • Dominic Lambert - presenter


  • Carol Sinclair
  • Corri Black
  • Emily Jefferson
  • Mark Parsons 
  • David Crossman
  • Pete Whitehouse

Items and actions

Summary of actions arising

  • any comments regarding the FBC to be forwarded to AM by the end of June - all/AM
  • a paper regarding a commercial framework model to the brought Board - AK
  • RH to set a call between the SAIL technical lead and DL - RH
  • RH to introduce DL to EJ to discuss the costing model - RH

Meeting minutes 

Welcome and introductions

Previous minutes and actions - (papers A and B)

A discussion took place regarding the Data Comms risk regarding what is happening in England around the handling of GP data. It was noted that further work for RDS would be required regarding consent, and that further engagement with the public was necessary to justify, and explain the use of data. It was noted it was important for RDS to be transparent and open in the data space, behave ethically and adhere to the law. RDS comms clearly need to message this and can draw upon the work of ADR-S. It was noted that PHS were receiving a lot of Freedom of Information requests on the back of what is happening in England. It was suggested that RDS reach out to Cathie Sudlow at HDR-UK and explore possible comms approaches.

It was noted that if RDS data was to be commercially available then the public messaging would be a lot more difficult. It was acknowledged that it was ultimately a Data Controller’s decision for industry to access to data, this must be done in collaboration with academia / NHS, and needs to be put on a firmer footing. There was consensus that a citizen centric approach should be taken – it is not about selling data - and we should be clarifying what public benefit actually means. It was noted that the public needs an explanation as to what happens to their data and needs to be pushed as it is an extremely important issue. It was noted AK is developing a policy on industry’s exploitation of public data. It was noted that a decision on English GP data would be made at around the same time as the launch of RDS. AD offered to assist AK in the development of the policy.

Progress reports - paper C to paper Q (to note)

Comment and updates on the papers circulated previously:

It was noted that a decision regarding sign off for the FBC by the Board was required and that any comments, in particularly regarding the management case, be received by the end of June. The FBC will go to Ministers in early July and be published by September.


  • any comments regarding the FBC to be made by the end of June

Future service design (paper Q)

Dominic Lambert, RDS technical architect, gave a presentation on Future Service Design. Questions and discussion were invited. It was noted that components of this included trying to build a commercial framework model. It was noted that some of this work is reflected in the SAIL organisation


  • AK to bring a paper regarding a commercial framework model to the Board
  • RH to set a call between the SAIL technical lead and DL

The question of whether the costing model was to be run in real time was raised and could it be updated to reflect costs in real time, as well as whether a cost model be created at the start. It was suggested a model needed to be created to cover both scenarios. 


  • RH to introduce DL to EJ to further discuss the issue

Further comments noted that the data model needed to be flexible as some Data Controllers may wish to retain control. It was noted that Financial modelling could be used to drive down management costs if they are fine grained and that consideration should be made for statistical collection. RH noted that this was the direction of travel for the medium term.


It was noted that a public engagement forum be created. It was further noted that a pilot public panel be established to test data products. It was agreed that these should be linked. RH announced that an open forum for the public would be held on the 17 August 2021 and it would cover some of what had been discussed at this meeting.

Date of next meeting and close 

Next meeting Tuesday 27 July at 10 am (invite previously circulated)