New independent body to hold social security system to account
A new independent scrutiny body that will hold Scotland’s social security system to account is to be created by the Scottish Government.
Amendments to legislation currently going through Parliament would create a new Scottish Commission on Social Security that would independently scrutinise the new social security system.
Social security minister Jeane Freeman said the new body will also ensure the system lives up to expectations.
The guarantee of independent scrutiny, which will also include ensuring all regulations are examined in advance of coming into force, is one of the Scottish Government’s Stage 2 amendments to the Social Security (Scotland) Bill, which begins its committee phase shortly.
Ms Freeman said: “We have said all along we will approach social security differently and our system will fulfil people’s human rights by treating them with dignity and respect. The new scrutiny body will ensure we are independently held to account for delivering on these commitments.
“We welcome that scrutiny: it is proof we are serious about building a system that puts people first, that supports our citizens and that exists to realise rights, not to obstruct them.
“By putting this on the statute books, we are making sure that its role is protected and enforced by law. People deserve to know that ministers are being held to account, now and in the future, and that the responsibilities given by the bill in providing social security as a human right are met
“We want to set up the Scottish Commission on Social Security as quickly as possible this year, as part of our determination to set up a new social security system that has dignity and fairness at its heart.”