We Asked, You Said, We Did

Below are some of the issues we have recently consulted on and their outcomes.

We Asked

We sought your views on whether or not the proposed extension of the Power of Direction in Section 57 of the EPA 1990 is:

(A) Necessary to ensure full compliance with EU obligations and:

(B) Appropriate to prevent damage to human health and harm to the environment in circumstances where no other mechanism is available.

You Said

The consultation received 10 responses. 7 were from organisations and 3 from individuals.

There was agreement that the extension was necessary from 5 respondees.

Of the remaining 5 respondees, 4 provided comment on the format of the regulations whilst supporting the need for the extension.

The comments received centred around 3 main themes.

  • The lack of a right to appeal;
  • That extensive consultation with SEPA and waste operator take place before the power of direction was issued’ and
  • Account be given in the legislation to the changes to waste permits and licenses in the upcoming Integrated Authorisation Framework.

The remaining respondee commented on the general need for the extension.

No formal objection to the proposed extension was received.

We Did

We responded to the five respondees who made comment on (a) the format of the regulations and (b) the need for them and provided answers to their comments as follows:-

We explained that there is no appeal mechanism in respect of Ministerial powers of direction as the direction may only be used where immediate action is to prevent environmental harm or protect human health. A right of appeal would potentially delay action being taken, thus defeating the purpose of the provision.

We advised that consultation with SEPA would be standard practice, and we would consult with SEPA and the operator to explore whether agreement could be reached without having to use the power of direction, which we see as a last resort. We consider it would not be appropriate to add those steps to the legislation, as this could also potentially delay action being taken, thus defeating the purpose of the provision.

We confirmed that the drafting would work to include authorisations under the Integrated Authorisation Framework, once waste is included in that regime. Further, should that give rise to a need to make consequential amendments, powers are available to make those amendments.

We confirmed that notwithstanding existing EU obligations, Scottish Ministers consider it appropriate and necessary in the interests of protecting human health and the environment, to extend the current power of direction to all operators which accept, keep or dispose of waste.

 We have published those responses where consent has been given to publish.

As there were no formal objections, arrangements have been made to lay the draft regulations before the Scottish Parliament.

We Asked

Should Changing Places Toilets (larger sanitary accommodation for people with more complex care needs) be provided in certain large new non-domestic buildings through the Scottish building standards system. 

You Said

We received a total of 1112 responses to the consultation.  Responses were received from 1040 individuals and 72 organisations.

You were overwhelmingly supportive of the requirement for Changing Places Toilets in large new non domestic buildings.  You provided many examples of the positive impact these facilities have of the lives of people with complex care needs, their family, friends and carers.  You offered a number of suggestions on further situations where these facilities could be provided.

We Did

We have published the responses to the consultation and an analysis report summarising your responses.   

In consideration of your responses, we have amended consultation proposals. We have now published the 2019 Non-domestic Technical Handbook which introduces a new clause under standard 3.12 (sanitary facilites). This sets out where a Changing Places Toilet should be provided as part of new buildings or new building work. This provision applies from 1 October 2019.

We Asked

We published the Scottish Government consultation ‘Equally Safe: A consultation on legislation to improve forensic medical services for victims of rape and sexual assault’ for 12 weeks, between 15 February and 8 May 2019.

We asked for views on introducing direct statutory functions on NHS boards to provide forensic medical services and healthcare support to all victims, including those who have chosen not to report the crime to police, or are undecided, but wish to undergo examination and access support (known as “self-referral”). 

We specifically asked for views on:

  • the taking and retention of samples;
  • the potential impacts of proposals including on island communities, equalities and socio-economically disadvantaged groups;
  • provision for children and young people; and
  • potential financial implications for NHS Scotland health boards and other bodies.

You Said

We received 53 responses from 18 individuals and 35 organisations. These included 17 third sector organisations with 10 representing specific groups and 7 focused on victim support. The responses also included 9 from health organisations (including seven health boards), 5 from organisations providing a justice perspective and 2 from local authorities. 

There was broad support for proposals.  Some of the key findings from the consultation include: 

  • 91% respondents agreed there should be a specific statutory duty for Health Boards to provide forensic medical services to victims of rape and sexual assault; 
  • 80% of respondents agreed special provisions should be included to reflect the needs of children and young people
  • the majority of respondents thought that self-referral should not be offered to those under the age of 16;
  • a majority of responses favoured adult victims of rape and sexual assault being offered the option to self-refer;  
  • a number of responses highlighted specific issues faced by vulnerable adults;
  • almost two thirds of respondents raised potential impacts, both positive and potential challenges, in relation to people in rural or island communities;
  • training and premises were identified as potential financial implications, as well as a potential need for further investment in advocacy services for victims of rape and sexual assault. 

Key themes included the value of a statutory duty, the importance of
self-referral routes and the positive impact of embedding trauma-informed care and adopting a health-focused approach to Forensic Medical Services for victims of rape and sexual assault, or child sexual abuse.  Views expressed on how a legislative framework should operate were consistent in the case of police and self-referral.    Respondents highlighted the importance of consent, clear information and communication -  including with regards the storage, transfer and deletion of data.  The importance of  ensuring consistency with existing guidelines victims’ needs was also identified

The Analysis Report also draws on discussions at a consultation workshop hosted by the Scottish Government on 26 March 2019. This invited representatives from Police Scotland, the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), NHS Scotland and Rape Crisis Scotland to explore the development of a consistent national model for self-referral.  While there was broad support for proposals there was some divergence regarding a retention period for samples.

We Did

We have already published those responses where consent was given to do so alongside the consultation paper o the consultation hub: https://consult.gov.scot/equally-safe/equally-safe-improve-forensic-medical-services/consultation/published_select_respondent.

We commissioned independent analysis of the consultation responses from the Lines Between Ltd.  We published the analysis report of responses on the Scottish Government website on 29 August: http://www.gov.scot/ISBN/9781839600647

Subject to the will of Parliament, Scottish Government announced its intention to legislate in this area in the current parliamentary year in the Programme for Government 2019-20.  The Scottish Government will continue to engage with stakeholders to shape the legislation and reach consensus on areas of policy divergence. 

We Asked

Scottish Crown Estate rural assets include 37,000 hectares (around 91,000 acres) of land in rural Scotland. The vast majority is let for a variety of uses including farming, residential, commercial, sporting and mineral operations. Forestry assets on these estates are managed directly by us rather than being let.

It also includes salmon fishing rights on many Scottish rivers and the rights to naturally-occurring gold and silver across much of Scotland.

Crown Estate Scotland put forward a number of key considerations related to the overall long-term objectives of managing the rural assets and asked to hear your views on how we should actively manage these assets to drive inclusive sustainable development.

You Said

The consultation was open online from 15 February to 26 April 2019. In total 33 responses were submitted online, from 9 individuals and 24 organisations. The responses provided constructive answers and suggestions to the 30 questions asked in the consultation document. In addition, some verbal feedback was gathered at community events.

Respondents said they wanted to see a real difference between land managed on a purely commercial basis and land managed by Crown Estate Scotland. The responses supported a collaborative management approach, with Crown Estate Scotland improving access to information, increasing transparency in decision-making and conducting early and meaningful engagement with affected parties.

The responses strongly supported provision for biodiversity improvement throughout the rural assets and a desire to see Crown Estate Scotland take an ambitious approach to the natural environment to achieve this.

We Did

On this page, you can find the published non-confidential responses to the consultation. We will shortly publish an analysis of the consultation responses on our website and on this consultation summary page.

We will use your feedback to inform the content of the Rural Assets Strategy. Responses will also be used to develop the Crown Estate Scotland Corporate Plan 2020-2023, which will be consulted on in autumn 2019. We will publicise the opportunity to engage with us on our Corporate Plan development widely, but if you would like to be notified via email when this consultation opens please let us know by getting in touch with us at corporate@crownestatescotland.com.

We Asked

We asked for views on implementing recommendations from the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group (HARSAG) to commence the Local Connection and Intentionality provisions in the Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003.

Local connection

Local connection is defined in the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 as a connection which a person has with an area because:

  • they are or were in the past normally resident in it, and this residence was of their own choice; or
  • they are employed in it; or
  • they have family associations; or
  • they have special circumstances.

Local authorities currently have the power under the Act to refer homeless households who do not have a local connection with them to another local authority where they do have such a connection. We invited views on our plans to commence the provision in the Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003 which allows Scottish Ministers to modify referrals relating to local connection and our intention to implement the proposal from HARSAG to suspend referrals in Scotland.

Intentionality

The Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 currently places a duty on local authorities to investigate whether a person applying to them for accommodation became homeless or threatened with homelessness intentionally. We asked for views on our intention to commence the provision in the Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003 to give local authorities discretion, rather than the current duty, to investigate intentionality.

We also invited views on HARSAG’s recommendation to narrow the definition of intentionality to focus on instances of applicants ‘deliberately manipulating’ the homelessness system.

You Said

We received 72 responses to the consultation from a range of individuals, local authorities, third sector organisations and others. 

Local connection

The highest level of support (46%) was for suspending local connection referrals across all local authorities in Scotland. 26% supported modifying local connection referrals in another way and 18% supported not commencing the provisions. A further 10% did not respond to this question.

Two key themes emerged in responses. The first, from those favouring suspension, was support for people experiencing homelessness to be able to choose where they wish to settle. This was seen as offering choice to people experiencing homelessness, removing unnecessary barriers to finding permanent accommodation and ensuring that homelessness services can be delivered at the point of need.

The second key theme, from those not favouring suspension, was concern over the potential increase to the numbers of referrals in areas that do not have the resources to meet needs.  Various different types of local authority were cited, including major cities such as Glasgow or Edinburgh, urban areas or rural and island and highland areas.

Intentionality

The highest level of support (50%) was for removing the duty and giving local authorities the discretion to assess households for intentionality.  33% supported not removing the duty and a further 17% did not respond to this question.

The main theme cited in support of removing the duty was that being labelled as intentionally homeless is often unfair and does not reflect the true picture of individuals’ circumstances. It was felt by many that the removal of the duty in favour of discretion would benefit vulnerable people in particular so that they can get the help and support they need.

For those in favour of not removing the duty, a number of potential issues were cited. These included: the potential for a lack of consistency of approach if the duty was reduced to a power, both at local authority level and between local authorities; concerns that people could manipulate the system; and the potential that individuals might no longer see the need to take personal responsibility to retain their accommodation (e.g. not paying rent).

We Did

It is our intention to commence the Local Connection and Intentionality provisions in the Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003 in November 2019, after further discussions with COSLA, local authorities and others around issues raised in the consultation. For Intentionality, the provisions would come into force immediately but for Local Connection a process would begin for the Scottish Government to consult on and issue a Ministerial Statement within 12 months of commencement on how these new powers are to be used. Subject to the outcome, this would be followed by a further Scottish Statutory Instrument laid in the Scottish Parliament to implement the changes.

We will carefully consider the views expressed on narrowing the definition of intentionality to focus on instances of applicants ‘deliberately manipulating’ the homelessness system.  As stated in the consultation paper, there are currently no provisions in the legislation for the definition to be changed but the responses to the consultation will be very helpful as we consider the options for taking this work forward.

We will monitor the impact of the changes on individuals experiencing homelessness, local authorities and third sector providers using evidence from current data collections, and we will publish this data regularly. We will also set out plans for further engagement and possible research to help more fully understand the impact of the changes.

We have published the responses that gave permission and an analysis of the consultation responses can be found here.

We Asked

Scotland’s climate is warming, the growing season is getting longer, and we are facing more extreme weather and rising sea levels. We need to safeguard our future by adapting to these changes. Programme for Government 2018 committed us to develop a new five-year Climate Change Adaptation Programme for Scotland.
 
We asked to hear your views on the new Programme: its vision, outcomes, sub-outcomes and the policies in place to deliver these, as well as how we should monitor progress.

You Said

We received 73 consultation responses from 58 organisations, including Sunnyside Primary School in Glasgow, and 15 individuals.
 
Respondents said they want to see the vision for the Programme convey a strong sense of urgency and ambition, in line with the climate emergency, and link to urgent mitigation action.
 
The responses strongly supported key features of the new Programme - linking to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Scotland’s National Performance Framework; an outcome-based approach; the establishment of a National Forum for adaptation; the inclusion of behaviour change; the integration of monitoring and evaluation from the outset; and the content of the Strategic Environmental Assessment Report.
 
Responses had many constructive suggestions on making the Programme as cross-cutting and effective as possible. Views on the seven high-level outcomes and the list of supporting policies were generally supportive with many suggestions for additional policies reflecting specific sectoral interests.

We Did

We have published non-confidential responses to the consultation and an analysis of the consultation responses (links below). We will build on the significant achievements of the past decade and we will use your feedback to develop the Programme for launch later in 2019.

We Asked

We asked for views on potential improvements to the statutory charity regulation framework in Scotland, in light of proposals put forward by the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) and the passage of time since the 2005 Act.

The proposals broadly focussed on improvements to charity law that would increase transparency and accountability in order to maintain public trust and confidence in charities and OSCR.

You Said

We received 307 responses to the consultation from a range of individuals, charitable organisations and others with an interest in charity law. 

The majority of respondents supported the proposals in the consultation, however the analysis report makes clear that more policy development work and stakeholder engagement is required before we could bring forward any legislative changes.

Further formal consultation is also required with the Information Commissioner’s Office, as a number of the proposals impact on data protection.

We Did

We have published the responses that gave permission and an analysis of the consultation responses.

We will fully consider all the points raised, including engaging with those who called for wider changes to the regulation. Collaborative work with the third sector and other key stakeholders will continue as we develop and refine the proposals.

We will also work with OSCR to establish a working group to address outstanding issues with The Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (Removal from the Register and Dissolution) Regulations 2011.  We will look to bring forward amendment regulations in this session to preserve public trust in the SCIO model.

We Asked

We asked for views on two minor amendments to road works legislation. Firstly, we sought views on the proposal to revoke the Scottish Statutory Instrument,  “The “Scottish Road Works Register (Prescribed Fees) Regulations 2017” and replace it with a new Regulation to account for the running costs of £855,000 for the 2019/20 financial year. Secondly, we sought views on amending “The Road Works (Qualifications of Operative and Supervisors (Scotland) Regulations 2017”, by expanding the list of approved awarding bodies to include a fourth body, “Lantra” 

You Said

In total, nine responses to the consultation were received, from utility undertakers, roads authorities and one individual. Brief analysis of these responses is detailed below. Two additional responses were received after the closing date, and so do not feature in the analysis, but have been considered.

 

We Did

These responses have been fully considered. We will now amend/replace both Scottish Statutory Instruments as proposed.

We Asked

Does the Scottish Hate Crime legislation need changed to ensure it is fit for 21st Century Scotland and does it afford sufficient protection for those that need it. 

We also asked if additional statutory aggravations are required.

You Said

We received over one thousand responses to the consultation and around 400 people attended the consultation events. 

You commented on our proposals giving reasons for either supporting or not supporting individual prposals.

We Did

We are currently considering all consultation responses as we continue to develop our consolidated hate crime legislation to be put before Holyrood during the current parliamentary period.

We Asked

We asked for your opinion on proposals to permit motorsports events, such as stage rallies, hill climbs and trials of speed, on closed public roads in certain circumstances.  We sought your views on a proposed two stage regulatory process whereby an event organiser would be required to seek a motorsports permit from the relevant Motorsports Governing Body and then a Motorsports Order from the relevant Local Roads Authority.

You Said

We received a total of 3,788 responses to the public consultation.  There was clear support for the introduction of a two stage application process with 98% of respondents in support of that proposal.  There was also clear support (99%) for the proposals to give powers to Local Roads Authorities to close public roads for motorsports events in line with the powers they already have for other events.

We Did

We have published non-confidential responses to the consultation and an analysis of the consultation responses (link below).  Preparations are now underway for new regulations and the feedback received from this consultation will help shape that process.

The full analysis report can be found here.

We Asked

This consultation sought views on proposals to restrict the promotion and marketing of specific foods that are high in fat, sugar or salt (HFSS). 

The primary aim of the policy is to reduce the public health harm associated with the excessive consumption of calories, fat, sugar and salt, and obesity related conditions. 

 

 

 

You Said

The consultation ran from 2 October 2018 to 9 January 2019.

We received 728 responses to the consultation: 632 from individuals and 94 from organisations. 

On the whole, there was support for the Scottish Government aim to reduce the public health harms associated with the excess consumption of calories, fat, sugar and salt, and obesity related conditions. 

We Did

We have published all non-confidential responses to the consultation and an analysis report of the consulation responses (link below). 

Following this consultation, the Scottish Government set out in Programme for Government 2019/20 that it would bring forward a Bill on Restricting Foods Promotions for introduction in next year’s legislative programme.

The Programme for Govrnment 2019/20 is available at at https://www.gov.scot/publications/protecting-scotlands-future-governments-programme-scotland-2019-20/pages/4/

 

 

We Asked

If you agree with this amendment to increase the higher age limit for persons eligible for continuing care from twenty to twenty-one years of age, from 1 April 2019.  This is the final in the agreed annual roll out strategy to ensure the initial cohort of young people (born after 1 April 1999) remain eligible until the duty to provide continuing care extends from 16 to 21 years of age.

You Said

The public consultation received 26 responses from 4 individuals and 22 organisations including from COSLA, local authorities, the Care Inspectorate, the third sector and individuals. Respondents all agreed with the intention of the Draft Order.  We have published the responses with respect to the handling permissions provided to us.

We also invited any others comments on the draft Order and the Continuing Care provision more broadly. Where respondents have offered comment we summarised the key points raised and, where appropriate, offered a response to these concerns in the Consultation Analysis Report which can be accessed here: 

The Continuing Care (Scotland) Amendment Order 2019; Consultation Analysis Report

We Did

Of the responses received there was universal agreement that extending the upper age limit of eligibility to twenty-one is the expected and welcomed course of action. As a result, no adjustments were requested or made to the drafting of the Order.  The Draft Order was laid in the Scottish Parliament on 25 January 2019 for scrutiny.  If approved by parliament, this Order will come into force on 1 April 2019 meaning that eligible young people will be entitled to remain in Continuing Care up to age twenty-one. 

 Links:

 The Continuing Care (Scotland) Amendment Order 2019; Consultation Analysis Report

Published Responses:

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish them.

We Asked

We asked for views on the inclusion of Narrow Trenching as a technique to the Specification for the Reinstatement of Openings in Roads in Scotland, and held a public consultation which was open for 12 weeks from 18 October 2018.

You Said

In total 49 responses to the consultation were received: 26 Roads Authorities responses, 8 responses from Statutory Undertakers, 7 Responses from Contractors/Service providers, 4 responses from Private Individuals,  2 responses from Industry Groups and 2 responses from Trunk Road Operating Companies.

We Did

All responses have been fully considered. The SROR will be amended to include 'narrow trenching' as a technique in 2019.

We Asked

We asked for views on a draft of Scotland’s Forestry Strategy 2019-2029: its vision, objectives and priorities, as well as the ways in which we could monitor progress.

You Said

We received a total of 442 responses to the public consultation. 102 (23%) of these were from organisations, with the remaining 340 (77%) submitted by individuals. 216 of the responses from individuals (49% of the total number of responses) were identical and generated as part of a campaign led by Woodland Trust Scotland.

There was general support for the draft Strategy and its content. However, there were also numerous, yet often conflicting requests for changes to be made to the detail, structure and presentation of the document.

We Did

We have published non-confidential responses to the consultation and an independent analysis of the consultation responses (links below). Alongside the final Strategy, a report outlining our approach to consultation and explaining how consultation responses informed the final content and structure of the Strategy is available at: https://www.gov.scot/policies/forestry/forestry-strategy/

We Asked

This consultation set out the rationale for making it a requirement for all members of Boards of Health Bodies to be members of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme. 

We asked you whether you thought the policy should apply to all Board members (both executive and non-executive) and across all Health Bodies.

The consultation ran between 31 August and 23 November 2018.

You Said

We received a total of 34 responses from a range of different organisations and individuals.  85% of the responses offered full support of the policy – that all members of Boards of all Health Bodies should be required to be members of the PVG Scheme. 

The Commissioner for Ethical standards in Public Life in Scotland did not give a view on the policy but noted that he would be supportive of the policy as long as it was implemented in a way that remained consistent with the Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies in Scotland.

NHS Health Scotland responded that as the organisation will soon cease to exist they did not think the policy should be applied to their Board members.

3 other respondents indicated that they didn’t think that it was necessary to implement this policy for all members, only those who have unsupervised contact with vulnerable groups.

We Did

We are now working with Disclosure Scotland to make changes to the relevant legislation which will mean that members of Boards of all Health Bodies will be required to be members of the PVG Scheme.

We are also developing new learning packages for Board Members to raise awareness about the PVG Scheme.

We Asked

We asked for views to help inform and further refine how the Scottish National Investment Bank will operate, how its relationship with Ministers and the wider population will develop and how its strategic direction will be set by missions.

Respondents were asked to give their views on the proposed objectives and purposes of the Bank, and share views on the statement of the Vision for the Bank. Responses generally fell within 5 broad themes identified across all 16 questions:

  • The opportunity and the Bank’s objectives and purpose
  • The focus for investment activities
  • Operating model, classification and capitalisation
  • Governance and relationship with Ministers
  • The Bank’s staffing and employment arrangements

The consultation was open from 5 September to 31 October 2018. In addition, nine stakeholder workshops and twelve bilateral meetings were held with key stakeholders.

You Said

The consultation received 1,443 responses comprising of 40 responses from organisations, 1,383 responses as part of a campaign from Friends of the Earth Scotland and a further 20 responses from individuals. We published the responses on 28 November 2018.

Overall respondents supported the creation of the Bank, the Bank’s objectives and purpose, seeing it as an opportunity to support and grow Scotland’s economy. A range of perspectives were provided, with many supporting the Bank’s vision to move to a low carbon, high-tech, connected, globally competitive and inclusive economy.

A significant number of respondents were supportive of the Bank’s proposed investment activities, with many advocating the Bank’s mission-based approach, the investment strategy and ethical commitment. There was very strong support for the Bank’s proposed mission to support Scotland’s transition to a low carbon economy.

While a range of views were expressed, the overarching opinion was that the Bank’s culture, governance, approach to businesses and individuals must be different to that of other financial institutions.

Several respondents were supportive of the Bank’s operational approach. A significant number of respondents supported the Bank’s governance arrangements and the fact that the Bank should be accountable to Scottish Ministers, while maintaining operational and administrative independence.

Some respondents raised concerns over whether the proposals for capitalisation were sufficient to support the Bank but there was recognition that the proposed level of capitalisation was ambitious and achievable. Others remarked that it would be important that the Bank was not subject to political pressure.

On remuneration, there was recognition that the Bank will operate within the financial services sector and to succeed will need to be competitive to attract the right skills and expertise. However, respondents also felt this needs to be balanced with the Public Sector Pay Policy.

We Did

We commissioned an independent analysis of the consultation responses, including views gathered during the stakeholder workshops and bilateral meetings. You can read this here.

The Scottish Government will be introducing legislation to support the establishment and capitalisation of the Bank in late February 2019. The responses are being considered carefully to help inform the content of the legislation and shape the structure of the new body.

We will continue to engage with stakeholders as we develop the proposals to ensure we build an institution with the right values, vision and purpose.

We Asked

We asked for views on the introduction of electronic invoicing to the Scottish public sector and held a public consultation which was open for 12 weeks from 1st August 2018.

You Said

In total 21 responses to the consultation were received: 13 from local authorities; 1 from NHS; 2 from central government; 2 from trade organisations; 2 from suppliers; and 1 from an individual.

All bar one respondent agreed that the introduction of eInvoicing was a positive step and 80% of respondents highlighted some procedural barriers or challenges in the implementation of eInvoicing.

We Did

All responses have been fully considered and all non-confidential responses received have been published. The EU Directive 2014/55/EU on Electronic Invoicing in Public Procurement will be implemented through amendment to the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations and will come into force 18 April 2019.

We Asked

For your views on two proposals intended to create independent oversight of the acquisition, retention, use and disposal of biometric data for criminal justice purposes: the establishment of a new independent Scottish Biometrics Commissioner; and the creation of a draft Code of Practice for the collection, use and disposal of biometric data.  As part of our consultation we set out a draft high level Code of Practice describing the legal framework and proposed general principles; and a note describing the possible general functions and powers of  a new Biometrics Commissioner, for your views. 

The key aim was to seek your feedback on our proposals which aim to ensure an effective, proportionate and ethical approach to the use of biometric data, particularly with regard to children under the age of 18, which will in turn enhance public and professional confidence in the use of such data.

These proposals follow recommendations from an Independent Advisory Group (IAG) which reported to Scottish Government in March 2018.  The full IAG report is available to read at https://www.gov.scot/publications/report-independent-advisory-group-use-biometric-data-scotland/.

You Said

Our consultation on these proposals ran from 13 July to 1 October.  We received a total of 89 responses. The largest number (88%) were from individuals, with a small number from public sector organisations (7%); third sector organisations (4%) and a professional body (1%).  We also held four consultation stakeholder events (Scottish Youth Parliament; Equalities Groups; Police Workforce; and a mixed event including academics).  These were attended by a total of 44 individuals. 

Respondents were broadly supportive of the two key legislative proposals included in the consultation: 89% being in favour of the establishment of a Scottish Biometrics Commissioner; and 83% of respondents supporting the need for a Code of Practice. Some respondents were in favour of extending the scope of the Code and the Commissioner beyond Justice, to include other public authorities and the private sector.

We Did

We published the 40  submitted responses to the consultation where consent had been given to publish the response, on our consultation webpage available at https://consult.gov.scot/safer-communities/use-of-biometric-data/consultation/published_select_respondent.  

We also commissioned and published an independent analysis of our consultation responses.  The full report was published on 26 November 2018 and is available to download at https://consult.gov.scot/safer-communities/use-of-biometric-data/results/biometricsdata-finalconsultationanalysis.pdf.

We announced our intention to introduce a Biometric Data Bill in the  Programme for Government published in September 2018. The Bill will provide a legislative basis for the creation of an independent Scottish Biometrics Commissioner and a Code of Practice, as proposed in the consultation document. 

We will carefully consider findings from your responses and continue to engage with key stakeholders to further refine the policy and shape the content of legislation.  Subject to the wider parliamentary timetable, we expect the Bill to be introduced in the first half of 2019.

We Asked

We sought views on the investment priorities and charging principles for the period 2021-27.

You Said

You were broadly content with the proposed documents.  However, there was disagreement with the proposal to alter the single occupant status discount.

We Did

Further engagement will be undertaken with the affected demographics and relevant interest groups before any amendments are made to the existing household discounts.

We Asked

We asked for views on a new body called Consumer Scotland, and whether the Scottish Government should develop a statutory duty on Scottish public authorities to improve how consumers are considered during policy and decision-making. We held a public consultation, which was open for 12 weeks from 4 July 2018. During this period we also held a series of events so that regulators, consumer groups and enforcement agencies could share their thoughts.

You Said

We received a total of 58 responses to the consultation from consumer groups, regulators, businesses and individuals. Most responses were supportive of our plans to create a new consumer body that would carry out in-depth investigations into the areas of most serious harm to consumers in Scotland. A majority were also supportive of the idea of a consumer duty.

 

We also received feedback on the action needed for a consumer body to succeed, including ensuring that there is clarity around its role in the landscape and that it has the right powers and functions to make a real difference for consumers.

We Did

We commissioned an independent analysis of the consultation responses. You can read this at https://www.gov.scot/publications/analysis-responses-consultation-consumer-body-scotland/.

 

The Scottish Government will be introducing a Bill to establish the new consumer body and the consumer duty in the coming months. The responses have helped develop the legislation and will continue to guide our thinking as the practical arrangements for the new body and duty are considered.