Disclosure (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 16th January 2020.

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Photo of Maree Todd Maree Todd Scottish National Party

Certainly. As I set out in my opening remarks, I will lodge a stage 2 amendment to address the committee’s recommendation to include the principles in the bill.

We have begun engagement with stakeholders to develop guidance that is to be used by decision makers. The crux of the issue is to make the outcome of any assessment or review process more foreseeable and accessible to disclosure applicants. User-friendly guidance is essential not just for applicants, but for those who support them.

A number of members talked about how challenging and complex the bill is. However, I have confidence that Parliament can rise to meet the challenges, and that our close working with stakeholders will enable us to communicate about the legislation once we have completed it.

Disclosure Scotland’s digital transformation is paving the way for the work that will take forward the bill’s provision’s; many of the innovative changes in the bill could not have been implemented using the previous IT system. PASS is already dealing with all Disclosure Scotland’s current business, and we will work with our customers to ensure that there are solutions for delivery of the bill that meet everyone’s needs. Lessons have been learned from implementation of the original PVG scheme in 2011 and the current digital transformation at Disclosure Scotland. The digital functions that will be required to implement the bill will be developed using Agile, as set out in the financial memorandum. Disclosure Scotland will begin the discovery phase for bill implementation in the coming months.

With regard to the Auditor General for Scotland’s section 22 report, Disclosure Scotland will consider the report’s findings and take appropriate action to address the points that have been raised. In fact, it has already made a number of changes to improve clarity of governance, including creation of a change delivery advisory panel to provide critical challenge, support and assurance.