Social Security: safeguarding data sharing consultation

Closed 17 Jun 2022

Opened 25 Mar 2022


Social Security Scotland is a public body which has daily interaction with the public and, where appropriate, their representatives. The Scottish Government is very much aware that Social Security Scotland supports some of the most vulnerable people in society. To adequately support these clients the Scottish Government must have clear and robust processes in place. This includes where information is presented leading Social Security Scotland to conclude whilst undertaking their duties that an individual may be at risk of harm. 

This consultation will formalise an approach for Social Security Scotland to align processes with other Government departments and to report certain circumstances to a Local Authority. Only where it becomes apparent that an individual may be at risk of harm. This will allow the Local Authority to exercise their duty to investigate.

Read the consultation paper 

Why your views matter

The Scottish Government is consulting to gather views which will inform the policies underpinning a formalised approach to Social Security Scotland sharing information with Local Authorities. This is in relation to circumstances which are presented which raise concerns that an individual may be at risk of harm.

Given the sensitivities around information sharing, there is a clear public interest in the processes Social Security Scotland employ. The Scottish Government remains committed to listening to the views of stakeholders at every stage in our processes.  This public consultation invites feedback and comment on how we can improve how we deliver and support the people of Scotland.

The Scottish Government is keen to gather views from people with a working knowledge of social security. For example solicitors, welfare rights officers and Local Authorities.

Importantly, the Scottish Government is also keen to hear from individuals, organisations and groups with an interest or experience in this particular area. For example organisations who are already asked routinely to provide information to Police, DWP or Local Authorities in relation to safeguarding risk, and from Local Authorities themselves.

What happens next

All responses to the consultation will be analysed and fully considered, informing decisions on the final policy position. Regulations will then be drafted, which will follow due Parliamentary scrutiny process before formal procedures are implemented.

This information will also be used to inform amendments to draft regulations as they are developed in order to best meet the policy intention of safeguarding individuals.  Feedback from this consultation will then be used to inform operational guidance underpinned by the regulations.


  • Health and Social Care