Scotland's Climate Assembly: operations and administration arrangements

Details on the Assembly's independence and governance, resources, member recruitment, meetings, evidence base, engagement, principles and reporting arrangements.


3. The citizens' assembly will be independent of Scottish Ministers and the Scottish Parliament.  A governance structure, comprising a secretariat, stewarding group and two conveners, will oversee and provide guidance to the assembly.  In this document the citizens' assembly will be referred to as "Scotland's Climate Assembly" which is the name this organisation is operating under.


4. The secretariat's main purpose is to support the administrative functions of Scotland's Climate Assembly, its stewarding group and conveners, in particular:

a) providing the framework for experts to develop the process and evidence base;
b) ensuring Scotland's Climate Assembly is accessible and that members are adequately supported to participate;
c) managing delivery of services through contracts for recruitment of Scotland's Climate Assembly members and for design and facilitation;
d) being responsible for project governance and resource management, including managing the Scotland's Climate Assembly budget;
e) ensuring record keeping and compliance;
f) providing advice and support to conveners to enable them to carry out their functions;
g) chairing and supporting meetings of the stewarding group; and
h) liaising with the Scottish Government, as and when required.

5. The secretariat is staffed by civil servants seconded from the Scottish Government and external appointees. While working in the secretariat, these civil servants will comply with the Civil Service Code, including impartiality. 

6. The Scottish Government's Domestic Climate Change Division will provide a sponsorship function to the secretariat, acting as the liaison point between the Scottish Government and Scotland's Climate Assembly. Such advice could be in relation to: managing public finance; information management and data protection requirements; or public procurement rules. A memorandum of understanding will be agreed and published.

Stewarding Group 

7. A stewarding group has been invited by the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform to provide advice to the secretariat and conveners on matters relating to the design of Scotland's Climate Assembly sessions and the provision of information and evidence. The stewarding group's role is set out in the invitation letter (Annex A), which includes details on the transparency of the group's operations. The group represents a broad range of interests, including from all major political parties represented in the Scottish Parliament, stakeholders from a number of sectors, experts in deliberative processes and representatives of young people. Full membership of the stewarding group is listed in Annex B.

8. The stewarding group has already met on five occasions. Minutes from those meetings will be available on the Scotland's Climate Assembly website[1].


9. The 2019 Act requires Scotland's Climate Assembly to have two conveners who are independent of the Scottish Ministers and the Scottish Parliament. The 2019 Act requires a gender balance between the conveners. The conveners will represent Scotland's Climate Assembly in the media and in public. They will amplify and support the voices of Scotland's Climate Assembly members, acting as their champion.

10. The Scottish Government, the secretariat and the stewarding group are currently discussing the process for appointing conveners. Further details will be provided in due course.



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