Scottish Commission on Social Security: FOISA guide to information

Guide to information held by the Scottish Commission on Social Security (SCoSS).

This document is part of a collection


The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 requires Scottish public authorities to produce and maintain a publication scheme.  Authorities are under a legal obligation to:

  • publish the classes of information that they make routinely available
  • tell the public how to access the information and what it might cost 

This publication scheme includes a Guide to Information which describes the information that SCoSS publishes and how you can access it.


The purpose of this publication scheme is to:

  • Allow you to see what information is available (and what is not available) in relation to each class;
  • State what charges may be applied;
  • Explain how to find the information;
  • Provide contact details for enquiries and to get help with accessing the information; and
  • Explain that you can request information we hold that has not been published by making a Freedom of Information request.

Ordinarily, you would have been able to contact us to ask for a hard copy of the publication scheme to be posted to you however as Scottish Government buildings are closed at present, we are currently unable to provide this service.

Availability and formats

The information we publish is available on our temporary webpage. This information will be transferred to SCoSS’s permanent website once it is created, which is expected to be in the first half of 2021.

We would normally offer alternative arrangements for people who do not want to, or cannot, access the information online or by inspection at our premises.  For example, we would usually arrange to send information to you in paper copy. However, given that Scottish Government buildings are closed at present, we are only able to provide information online until Covid restrictions are eased

Exempt information 

We will publish the information we hold that falls within the classes of information below.  If a document contains information that is exempt under Scotland’s freedom of information laws (for example, sensitive personal information or a trade secret), we will remove or “black out” the information before publication and explain why.


Where we hold the copyright in our published information, the information may be copied or reproduced without formal permission, provided that:

  • It is copied or reproduced accurately;
  • It is not used in a misleading context; and
  • The source of the material is identified.

Where we do not hold the copyright in information we publish, we will make this clear.


Relevant SCoSS publications will be made available indefinitely, otherwise we will generally make information available for the current and previous two years. 


There is no charge to view information on our website or at our premises.

We may charge for providing information to you (e.g. photocopying and postage), but we will charge you no more than it costs us to do so.  We will always tell you what the cost is before providing the information to you. 


Where charges are applied, photocopied information will cost 10p per A4 side of paper (black and white copy) and 30p per A4 side of paper (colour copy). We will pass on postage charges at the cost of sending the information by first class post.

We want everyone to be able to access our information. This may, for example, involve producing information in a larger script or different format where it is practicable to do so. The costs of this will be met by us.

Contact us

You can contact us about any aspect of this publication scheme:


Phone: 0131 244 2629

As Scottish Government buildings remain closed we are unable to receive any correspondence by post.

We can also advise you how to ask for information that we do not publish by making a freedom of information request or how to complain if you are

Guide to Information

SCoSS must describe the type of information it publishes under each of the following ‘classes’ (the Model Publication Scheme 2018 explains each class of information).

Class 1: About the authority

Information about the role of SCoSS, its members, how it was created, and our contact details can be found on our temporary webpage. SCoSS operates during business hours.

SCoSS’s standing orders provide information on the regulation of SCoSS procedures. The framework document between SCoSS and the Scottish Government sets out the broad framework in which SCoSS operates. These documents and this guide to information can all be found in the Corporate Documents section of our webpage.

SCoSS Board members have agreed a code of conduct that sets out their expected standards and behaviours, and have completed a register of interests.

SCoSS’s standing orders set out how we regulate our procedures.

Class 2: How we deliver our functions and services

SCoSS was established under section 21 of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018. SCoSS’s statutory functions are described in section 22.

Our draft scrutiny framework explains how SCoSS scrutinises draft regulations that the Scottish Government, under the Act, asks us to scrutinise and report on.

Our interim report explains what SCoSS does, its duties and functions, introduces the Board and details the work SCoSS has undertaken to 30 October 2020. It also sets out SCoSS’ values and visions.

Class 3: How we take decisions and what we decided

SCoSS’s scrutiny reports on draft regulations and minutes of its Board meetings can all be found in the publications section of our webpage.

Class 4: What we spend and how we spend it

SCoSS’s annual report and accounts for 2019-20, which have been audited by Audit Scotland, describes how SCoSS’s budget was spent and includes information on Board members’ remuneration. It is available in the Corporate Documents section of our webpage.

Class 5: How we manage our human, physical and information resources

Human Resources

SCoSS Board Members are public appointees. Further information is available on the Scottish Government’s website.

The Commission staff are civil servants and are therefore subject to Scottish Government human resources policies for example on Public Sector Pay

Physical Resources

The Commission staff are ordinarily based in Victoria Quay, Edinburgh.

Scottish Government buildings

Information Resources

If you wish to contact SCoSS to make an FOI request for information, please do so using the contact details on our temporary webpage.

Class 6: How we procure goods and services from external providers

The framework document between SCoSS and Scottish Government sets out the broad framework in which SCoSS operates and SCoSS can also obtain goods and services via Scottish Government procurement.

Scottish Government frameworks and contracts

Class 7: How we are performing

SCoSS’s interim report and its annual report and accounts 2019-20 can be found in the Corporate Documents section of our webpage. They both provide information on SCoSS’s performance.

Class 8: Our commercial publications

We will not publish commercial publications as SCoSS is a public body.

Class 9: Our open data

SCoSS does not currently have an open data strategy nor do we have any open data sets and their metadata, or links to where they are accessible.


SCoSS: FOISA guide to information
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