A Consultation on a Consumer Duty for Public Bodies

Closed 26 Nov 2021

Opened 3 Sep 2021


The Consumer Scotland Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament in June 2019, passed in May 2020, and received Royal Assent in June 2020. The Act now requires the Scottish Government to establish a consumer body – Consumer Scotland – to represent the needs of consumers.

Consumer Scotland will be a small, nimble organisation investigating the most serious areas of consumer detriment in Scotland. It will look at a small number of issues each year, and will focus on understanding the underlying cause of the detriment and proposing solutions.

Stakeholder feedback as we developed our proposals was consistent that an advocacy body alone could not improve outcomes for consumers, and that a more comprehensive change to how consumers are considered and integrated into policy and decision-making is needed. To this end, the Act also places a new Duty on public bodies to consider the impact of their policies on consumers.

Why your views matter

The Consumer Scotland Act does not specify which public bodies would be covered by this new Consumer Duty. Following this consultation, secondary legislation will be drafted indicating which public authorities will be bound by the Duty.

This consultation is to help focus and support the delivery of a Duty on specified public authorities to consider the impact of their policies on consumers.

Read the consultation paper. 

What happens next

Handling your response

If you respond using the consultation hub, you will be directed to the About You page before submitting your response. Please indicate how you wish your response to be handled and, in particular, whether you are content for your response to published. If you ask for your response not to be published, we will regard it as confidential, and we will treat it accordingly.

All respondents should be aware that the Scottish Government is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and would therefore have to consider any request made to it under the Act for information relating to responses made to this consultation exercise.

If you are unable to respond via Citizen Space, please contact consumerandcompetition@gov.scot

To find out how we handle your personal data, please see our privacy policy: https://www.gov.scot/privacy/

Next steps in the process

Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public, and after we have checked that they contain no potentially defamatory material, responses will be made available to the public at http://consult.gov.scot. If you use the consultation hub to respond, you will receive a copy of your response via email.

Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us. Responses will be published where we have been given permission to do so. An analysis report will also be made available.


  • Business, Industry and Innovation
  • Economy
  • Energy
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  • Public Sector