Publication - Minutes

Scottish Commission on Social Security minutes: December 2020

Published: 1 Feb 2021
Date of meeting: 9 Dec 2020
Date of next meeting: 21 Jan 2021
Location: Via Skype

Minutes from the meeting of the SCoSS on 9 December 2020.

Published:
1 Feb 2021
Scottish Commission on Social Security minutes: December 2020

Attendees and apologies

Present: 

  • Dr Sally Witcher (Chair)
  • Sharon McIntyre (Member) 
  • Judith Paterson (Member)
  • Dr Mark Simpson (Member)

Apologies: none

Declarations of interest: The Chair noted that Inclusion Scotland had provided a written submission on the revised draft Disability Assistance for Children and Young People regulations but she had not contributed to it. Judith Paterson made a similar declaration in respect of Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland.  

In attendance: 

  • Fiona Lodge – SCoSS Deputy Secretary 
  • Terry Shevlin – SCoSS Lead Secretary

In attendance for agenda item 3:

  • Marta Kuzma, Audit Scotland, Senior Auditor
  • Ann McVie, Scottish Government, SCoSS’s Accountable Officer
  • Michael Oliphant, Audit Scotland, Audit Director

Items and actions

Minutes of the previous meeting

Subject to minor amendments, the minutes of the October board meeting were agreed.

Action:

  • Secretariat to publish the October board meeting minutes on the SCoSS webpage

SCoSS annual report and accounts 2019-2020

The Chair welcomed Michael Oliphant, Marta Kuzma and Ann McVie to the meeting. 

The Chair asked Members whether they were content with SCoSS’s draft Annual Report and Accounts 2019-20 (‘the report’), including Audit Scotland’s independent auditor’s report. Members agreed that they were content for the report to be signed off and had no questions for Audit Scotland. 

Michael highlighted that attaining a clean audit opinion was a positive outcome, and said that he and Ann, in her capacity as Accountable Officer, would formally sign-off the report.  

Audit Scotland, the Chair and the Accountable Officer noted that learning from this year’s audit, SCoSS’s first, would help to inform the conducting of future audits.

Action:

  • Secretariat to publish the final SCoSS Annual Report and Accounts 2019-20 on SCoSS’s temporary webpage after they are laid in the Scottish Parliament

The revised draft Disability Assistance for Children and Young People (Scotland) Regulations

Members considered a draft report prepared by Judith Paterson on the revised draft Disability Assistance for Children and Young People regulations. Members proposed various changes. Judith agreed to circulate a further draft report on 14 December for members’ consideration, with SCoSS’s final report to be completed later that week.

Action:

  • members and Secretariat to ensure that SCoSS’s final report on the draft Disability Assistance for Children and Young People regulations is signed off, issued and laid in the Scottish Parliament in the week commencing 14 December

SCoSS budget update

Members considered a paper by the Secretariat detailing SCoSS’s spending to date and possible future spending in order to identify any likely areas of underspend in SCoSS’s budget for 2020-21, as requested by the Scottish Government. Members considered each of the budget headings within the paper and identified various possible savings. They agreed to delegate to the Chair, in consultation with the Secretariat, the final decision on the exact sum that could be returned to the Scottish Government from SCoSS’s budget. 

Action:

  • the Chair to agree, in discussion with the Secretariat, the specific amount from SCoSS’s 2020-21 budget that can be returned to the Scottish Government

Continuous improvement

Members discussed a paper inviting them to agree the final wording of draft performance and skills surveys, which aim to contribute to Members’ learning and development. Members agreed that the Chair, Sharon McIntyre and the Secretariat should consider how best the surveys could be progressed, taking into account SCoSS’s wider work on continuous improvement.

Action:

the Chair, Sharon McIntyre and the Secretariat to consider how to progress members’ performance and skills surveys

Risk register – quarterly review of status

The Board agreed that this item would be taken by correspondence.

Action:

  • Secretariat to reissue the risk register status report paper and invite Members’ comments before the January Board meeting

Public Bodies Unit consultation on the Model Code of Conduct

The Board agreed that this item would be presented at the January Board meeting.

Action:

  • Secretariat to present the Public Bodies Unit consultation on the Model Code of Conduct paper at the January board meeting

Rolling actions

The Board agreed that this item would be taken by correspondence.

Action:

  • Secretariat to reissue the rolling actions paper and invite Members’ comments before the January Board meeting

Work plan

The Board agreed that this item would be taken by correspondence.

Action:

  • Secretariat to reissue the work plan paper and invite Members’ comments before the January Board meeting

Any other business

No other items of business were raised.

Date of the next board meeting: 21 January 2021