02 Background and introduction
The Scotland Act 2016 devolves a wide range of powers, most notably powers over welfare benefits and employment support. These powers currently cover around 1.4 million people and amount to around £3.3 billion. 
The Scottish Government has announced the creation of a new Agency to deliver social security to the Scottish people, based in Dundee with a second location in Glasgow. It will be one of the largest executive agencies of the Scottish Government and will employ at least 1,500 staff by the time all devolved benefits are being delivered.
The scale of this undertaking requires significant investment and deployment of resource in terms of people, time, funding, knowledge, systems and services. This is reflected in the Minister for Social Security, Jeane Freeman, MSP, statement to the Scottish Parliament on 27 April 2017:
"This is a challenging time. It is, as Audit Scotland said, an 'exceptionally complex task'. 
This is an exciting and complex opportunity which will require an innovative, flexible and collaborative approach to deliver a world class service.
This document is the 2018-2021 Digital and Technology Strategy (the Strategy) supporting the Social Security Directorate ( SSD) in the delivery of the programme to support the 11 devolving benefits and the establishment of the new Agency for Social Security (the Agency) in Scotland. It will also consider technical operational support arrangements post implementation.
It is vital that we have the right approach to considering, designing and implementing technical solutions to enable the safe and secure transition of the welfare benefits from the UK Government to the Scottish Government.
The history, legacy and inter-dependency of the existing benefit systems currently used by the UK Department of Work and Pensions ( DWP) cannot be ignored. We will have an ongoing requirement to work alongside their systems as they cannot administer reserved benefits and we cannot administer devolved benefits in isolation.
The ability to exchange information with DWP about benefit entitlement is not short, medium or long term, it has no end point as long as social security responsibilities are split between the two governments. This is a constraint that both social security and DWP have to accept and work with, but equally it will allow both organisations to manage their welfare obligations effectively.