1. Chair's statement and summary of the performance report
I am pleased to present the second annual report and accounts for the Scottish Commission on Social Security (SCoSS), covering the financial year 2020-2021.
Like every organisation in the country, SCoSS's workload and timetables have been disrupted by the effects of the Covid pandemic. The impact of Covid, and how we have responded, are considered in various parts of the performance report attached below. When Covid arrived we wrote to the Cabinet Secretary and Social Security Scotland to ask how the Social Security Charter commitments, social security principles and human rights obligations would continue to be met during the pandemic. We also set out potential short term roles for SCoSS in light of Covid.
Despite the disruption that Covid caused, we managed to establish ourselves as a significant and influential new voice, building on the achievements of our first year. The performance report provides clear examples of how we have performed in relation to the vision and values described in our interim report, and on our statutory roles. We have also continued to established effective processes and governance arrangements.
SCoSS is still a relatively new body, of an innovative kind for which there is not always a neatly fitting blueprint. Our ways of working continue to evolve as we continue to identify scope for improvement in how we approach the independent scrutiny of the devolved social security system. Our performance report provides examples of how we will achieve this improvement. It also explains how we have taken action to mitigate the risks we face, including by seeking a fifth commissioner to bolster our membership.
Our accounts demonstrate that SCoSS is continuing to spend public money in an effective and responsible manner that is bringing about positive change for those who receive social security assistance.
The SCoSS Board has reviewed this report and is satisfied that it provides an accurate account of its work and finances over the period.
Dr Sally Witcher, Chair of the SCoSS Board
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