Scottish Commission on Social Security minutes: July 2021

Minutes from the meeting of the SCoSS on 1 July 2021.

Attendees and apologies


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

In attendance: 

  • Nathalie Leger – SCoSS Interim Secretary
  • Andrew Strong – SCoSS Interim Secretary

For agenda item 2: 

  • Matthew Duff - Social Security Policy Advisor, Scottish Government

Items and actions

Welcome and declaration of interests

The Chair welcomed the members and Secretariat. There were no declarations of interest.

Draft Adult Disability Payment regulations 

Members considered issues to raise with Scottish Government officials responsible for the draft regulations.  

The Chair then welcomed Matthew Duff to the meeting. Matthew outlined the key changes introduced by the draft regulations. The Scottish Government would particularly welcome the views of SCoSS on the definitions in the ‘Interpretation’ section and the wording of the descriptions.

Members asked officials about the responses to the Scottish Government’s public consultation on Adult Disability Payment and whether any groups were underrepresented. Officials agreed to share information about groups and individuals that were underrepresented or not represented at all. 

Members also asked officials what work has been done across the Scottish Government on the potential impact in practical terms on health and social care support staff who will be asked to provide information or evidence as part of the ADP application and assessment process. The Board would welcome information on any consultation or engagement with, for example Local Authorities, Health Boards, professional bodies, and third sector organisations, given the potential impact on their workloads.  Officials agreed to provide more information around this.


  • Scottish Government officials to provide more comprehensive details on the changes to the draft regulations
  • Scottish Government officials to provide some more clarity on the ongoing policy development work around indefinite awards
  • Scottish Government officials to share information about groups that were underrepresented, and not represented at all, in the public consultation, and share information about the stakeholders they engaged with at virtual events
  • Scottish Government officials to provide contact details of officials in service design to discuss how SCoSS can feed into the 2023 review of Adult Disability Payment

Following the officials’ departure, members discussed their approach to the scrutiny process. The Members agreed to send Scottish Government officials more detailed questions on the draft Regulations. They confirmed that it would be useful to have a meeting with the Scottish Fiscal Commission to discuss the draft Regulations. They then confirmed details of the scrutiny process including lead drafter and time-lines for drafting reports.


  • secretariat and Board members to note agreed approach to scrutiny of the draft regulations and to carry out their agreed roles
  • secretariat to arrange a meeting between Judith Paterson and the Scottish Fiscal Commission to discuss the draft ADP Regulations

Rolling actions 

The Members noted the Rolling Actions.


  • secretariat to update rolling actions and remove ongoing actions that are more about ways of working, for inclusion in revised standing orders 

Work plan 

The Members noted the Workplan. 


  • secretariat to add a section to the workplan outlining items to be scheduled for future Board meetings    

Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the Board meeting on 19 May were approved subject to minor amendments.


  • secretariat to upload the May minutes to the SCoSS temporary webpage

Any other business

Members agreed that it would be beneficial to invite the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government and the Minster for Social Security and Local Government to a future Board meeting. 


  • secretariat to confirm September Board meeting dates with members

Date of the next board meeting: 10 and 11 August 2021

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