Annex H: Island Screening Assessment
The Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 passed by the Scottish Parliament on 30 May 2018 introduced a new duty on Scottish Ministers and the wider public sector to have regard to island communities when exercising their functions and preparing policy, strategies and legislation.
The Scottish Government recognises the importance of "island-proofing", and is committed to considering the impacts of the advocacy service standards on island and rural communities. In line with the Act, the Scottish Ministers will assess the extent to which the advocacy service standards can be developed in such a manner as to improve or mitigate against any negative outcomes.
The duty to prepare an Island Impact Assessment is laid out at Part 3, Section 8 of the Act. This section is not yet in force. In the interests of making clear the Scottish Government's commitment to island–proofing new polices, this island screening assessment has been conducted before the duty is statutorily required.
The Scottish Government will introduce advocacy service standards for advocacy support being provided to disabled people to help them with the Scottish social security system. It is difficult to estimate how many people eligible for advocacy support will live in the Islands or rural areas.
The Scottish Government's is aware that some remote and island communities may not have access to digital services nor are they everyone's preferred choice of communication. Individuals want tailored solutions to suit their different preferences and needs. The service standards require the service to be accessible and delivered in such a way that the individual's needs are met. We, therefore, do not expect the advocacy service standards to have a negative impact on island or rural communities. We would welcome any comments or evidence in relation to this area.