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Publication - Report

Social security agency in Scotland: outline business case

Published: 27 Apr 2017
Part of:
Communities and third sector
ISBN:
9781786529480

Collection of the analysis and evidence behind the Ministerial Statement on Scotland's social security agency, made on 27 April 2017.

187 page PDF

6.9MB

187 page PDF

6.9MB

Contents
Social security agency in Scotland: outline business case
Section B: Description of the Options

187 page PDF

6.9MB

Section B: Description of the Options

2. Method of option formulation and cost estimation

2. The six options set out below were formulated following over 30 scenario workshops with internal Scottish Government and external stakeholders from across the benefits being devolved, possible new benefit areas and delivery focused leads. These scenario workshops asked these key stakeholders to describe the different possible things that the social security system could be doing in 2040. The focus in this was looking at how possible policy might translate into the physical things which might be needed in the system e.g. services, buildings, concession cards, helpline etc. This date was chosen to ensure that stakeholder were thinking about 'steady state' rather than transition.

2.1. These scenario workshops also gave these stakeholders the opportunity to frame the possible future discussion around the outcomes which the social security system would need to deliver using logic modelling based on the logic modelling guidance from Evaluation Support Scotland. The outcomes from this exercise were included in the Social Security Consultation which ran up to the 28 October 2016.

2.2. Following the scenario planning events each possible future was mapped into 80 things which the social security system might do in the future. These were then thematically mapped into the six options laid out in this options appraisal.

2.3. Alongside this, work was undertaken to describe the capabilities and activities currently undertaken by DWP (based on 2014/15 data) in the administration of the benefits being devolved to Scotland. From this, current process maps were created. In addition, current activities undertaken by DWP across the benefits were modelled against the forecast for the number of people in receipt of benefits in Scotland in 2020/21, the latest year where a forecast was available. This amounted to 500 activities across the benefits being devolved from DWP. This modelling work enabled an estimate of option 0, the status quo, which is each option is compared against in this appraisal.

2.4. Following on from both these pieces of work, generic processes for the future social security system in Scotland were designed based on the assumption that benefits in Scotland would not be administered under different silos and the system would potentially need the capability to perform the core activities which occur under all options. These generic processes were then translated into high level functions and sub category functions that the social security system would need regardless of the option, and additional ones which related to one of the options only. Each of these were then mapped against each of the options in terms of who would provide each function.

2.5. Each option was then costed using data from 2014/15 based on caseload for Scotland uplifted to 2020/21. The number of people in Scotland estimated to be in receipt of benefit in 2020/21 was applied to the detailed activities needed to administer these benefits. These costs were then aggregated up into the eight high level functions for the system as a whole (and separate in kind-functions for option 4) outlined below.

2.6. Different options were then applied to vary the costs e.g. full time equivalent ( FTEs) in the agency, estate footprint, digital, other provider costs and assessment processes. The method for this is described under the cost estimates for each option and in annex A.

2.1 Option generation and Costing of the options

2.7. Section 5.2 of this Outline Business Case estimates the administrative costs of running devolved social security (excluding the costs that would fall to DWP) and provides evidence regarding long-term affordability of each of the options for Scotland. This section provides a link between the costings work and option generation.

2.8. It is therefore concerned with the likely on-going annual costs to the Scottish Budget in the potential 'steady state' for each of the options to meet those projected costs, and how far it differs in terms of costs from the status quo. This contrasts with section 4 which assesses the benefits of each option.

2.9. It should be noted that this Outline Business Case does not include an assessment of the costs that would be incurred by the existing independent advice and support sector, Ombudsman, Tribunal Service, and the Procurator Fiscal of devolving the benefits to Scotland. The impact of the devolution of social security to Scotland on these existing services will be explored separately at a later date. In addition, any charges DWP or HMRC would ask the social security agency to pay are also not explored in this Outline Business Case. These will be explored as part of the negotiations with DWP and added to the Final Business Case which will document the precise form and detail of the agency.

2.2 Capabilities needed to deliver social security in Scotland

2.10. Building on the existing service provided by DWP and the scenarios based mapping of what the future policy and service landscape might be in Scotland 8 functions were identified that would be needed in any social security system. These functions are to provide:

  • Queries / General Enquiries;
  • Pre Claim / Support Services;
  • Administration (Application, processing/evaluation (including assessment), Award, Payment and Change of Circumstances);
  • Dispute Resolution;
  • Error Management/ Investigation;
  • Centralised Functions (Corporate Functions, Business Development, Stakeholder Management/ Research / Support Services, Learning and Development, Policy and Strategy Development);
  • Management Information and
  • Continuous Capabilities (Evidence, Notification and Benefit Interaction) particularly between DWP and Scottish Government

In addition there is one area of functions (greyed out in the Figure 5 below) which would only be needed under option 4 of the appraisal. These are:

  • 'In Kind' functions.

2.11. These eight functions have be further broken down into 78 sub category functions (See end of Annex A) which the social security system as a whole will need to provide in order to provide the basis for the detailed cost model.

2.12. There are 15 enabling systems that will be required to support these 78 functions:

1 Enabling Systems - Case Management System
2 Enabling Systems - Contact Centre / Telephony
3 Enabling Systems - Document Handling Solution
4 Enabling Systems - Identity Management Solution
5 Enabling Systems - Reporting and Statistical Modelling Solution
6 Enabling Systems - Data Feeds and Interrogation
7 Enabling Systems - Attribute Exchange
8 Enabling Systems - Online Presence (website)
9 Enabling Systems - Digital Access Solution (Web portal etc.)
10 Enabling Systems - Payment Handling and Reconciliation System
11 Enabling Systems - Knowledge Management Solution
12 Enabling Systems - Data hosting
13 Enabling Systems - Corporate accounting
14 Enabling Systems - Development Environment
15 Enabling Systems - Inventory / Stock Control etc.

2.13. Whichever option is taken forward for social security, most of these functions will be needed. What differs between the options is who delivers these functions and how these functions operate within the existing Scottish public service landscape.

2.3 Options

2.14. Each of the six options in the OBC set out a view of what the future delivery of the functions outlined above could look like in 'steady state' and include how assessment, the digital landscape and the user experience differ between each future. That is, who will deliver the functions and in what way. Steady state in this case differs from transitional arrangements and is focused on the system that will be in place in Scotland in the longer term.

2.15. The OBC aims to determine what social security system should be built to administer benefits in Scotland. The OBC concludes with a preferred option that will form the basis of the final configuration of the system. This will be set out in detail in the Full Business Case.

2.16. It is standard practice to include a (theoretical) 'do-nothing' or "do-minimum" option against which all costs will be compared. The six options are compared to a do-nothing or status quo option. Social security powers are being devolved to Scotland and the creation of a Scottish social security agency has been announced. Whilst a theoretical do-minimum could be a minimal agency providing governance whilst DWP deliver the devolved benefits, such an option is neither feasible, practical or desirable. There is no appetite for DWP nor Scottish Ministers for this route and the costs of policy variance cannot be quantified. Most importantly, at an earlier stage of the process this option was ruled out.

2.17. A narrative around the user experience for each option has been constructed. These narratives are useful to see the detail of how the user experience would vary between options. They have also been constructed to offer a positive view of how a social security system should work for the people it helps in order to provide a frame for decision making. An example for option 1 is shown in Figure 4 and the rest can be found in annex A.

2.18. The detailed process by which each option is determined is to take the map of functions shown in Figure 5 and determine for each option:

  • What the agency does;
  • What the agency does not do;
  • What changes occur to the status quo and
  • What would this look like practically.

2.19. The options are examined in detail in the following section.

Figure 4 - User experience narrative for option 1

Option 1 - From the perspective of the person receiving the service

I saw an advert on the side of a bus about knowing what benefits people were entitled to. I went into the local Citizens Advice Bureau / disability rights organisation / housing support office and they explained I might be able to claim a disability benefit so I rang the Scottish social security agency on their phone line to find out. I have Tourette's and anxiety and don't really like speaking to people that I don't know and that don't understand my condition. Someone answered the phone quickly. The person asked if I had any particular communication needs and was friendly and supportive.

The agency staff talked me through applying for the benefit and what I needed to do over the phone. They said they could help me fill in the application over the phone and then send it to me to check or amend or I could fill it in online. I decided to fill it in online and set up an account to do this. Luckily I have my own laptop otherwise this would have been difficult and inconvenient. The online application system was easy to use and accessible, but I still found a few bits of it tricky. I phoned up the agency again and went over the tricky bits of my application with them over the phone. They helped me understand what the questions were trying to find out and what material I should include in my responses.

I gave permission for them to contact my doctor, consultant and mental health community nurse about my condition and verified my identity online. I got an email back saying the agency was processing my application and how long this would take.

Soon after that I had a call from the agency office explaining that I would need a face-to-face assessment and when the date was for this. The agency staff member talked to me about any concerns I had about the assessment and explained that they had useful information about my condition and circumstances but that someone with expertise in my condition would meet with me to understand how it impacted on my life and what could help. I also got a text message to confirm the date and time. The assessment was undertaken by a member of staff from the agency in my home. I was quite worried about it but was encouraged to bring someone with me and given written information about what would happen and why. The assessor wrote notes on his computer at the assessment but told me what he was writing and made sure that I was comfortable with it. I was told when I would receive a decision.

Once this had happened the agency informed me in an email and by letter that I would receive the benefit and that I could give some of this up to have access to a car from the Motability scheme. I liked having the choice but decided not to do this and wrote back to confirm this and my bank details. They informed me of the date for my first payment in an email they sent confirming payment arrangements. The payment was paid promptly after this into my bank account on a day I expected.

Six months later, I moved house. I phoned the social security agency about it and they said that I could log in to my account on the social security agency's website to update my address, but that I could phone them if I needed help with it. I found that it was straightforward and didn't need more help.

Figure 5 - Social Security function overview

Figure 5 - Social Security function overview

2.4 Detailed Description of the Six Options

2.4.1 Option 1 - The agency centrally delivers social security in Scotland

What the agency does

Under option 1 most aspects of the 8 functions outlined above would be undertaken by the social security agency. The agency would receive and answer queries and general enquiries. They would also administer benefits (application, processing/evaluation (including assessment), award, payment and change of circumstances). This would mean Assessment being undertaken by staff directly employed by the agency with no external involvement. The agency would undertake most error management and investigations. It would provide a range of centralised functions (Corporate Functions, Business Development, Stakeholder Management / Research / Support Services, Learning and Development). It would also produce a range of management Information with Scottish Government. It would also run a range of continuous capabilities (Evidence, Notification and Benefit Interaction) particularly between DWP and Scottish Government (see Annex A).

What the agency does not do

Functions the agency would not undertake in their entirety under option 1 include pre claim and support services, where existing advice and support services in Scotland would continue to provide independent advice, support and advocacy alongside advice and support given by the agency. The agency would, however, provide some aspects such as home and prison visits. This would also be the case for dispute resolution where some functions would continue to be undertaken by others such as tribunals and ombudsman and investigations where this would lead to prosecutions would be undertaken by the procurator fiscal. In addition policy and strategic development and some aspects of management information would be provided by Scottish Government (see Annex A).

What changes occur to the status quo?

Under option 1, the agency would take over responsibility for administering the social security benefits currently administered by others such as Local Authorities e.g. Scottish Welfare Fund. These would be paid as cash payments without the option of in kind as now (option 4 explores these being given as 'in-kind'). Universal Credit Flexibilities (these are where the timing and payee elements can be varied in Scotland) would be administered by DWP and the agency would provide appropriate support. It would take over control of the benefits being devolved to Scotland and work with DWP where Scottish benefits interact with reserved benefits.

What would this look like practically?

Under option 1 devolved social security in Scotland would be provided by a recognisable, branded agency. The agency would be housed in centralised headquarters (possible in one or only a few locations), with a centralised caseload, IT capability and staff resource. As well as general corporate, HR and IT staff, there would be operational staff working to administer benefits and specialist staff for particular demographics ( e.g. carers) and benefit related support ( e.g. bereavement). In this option the agency would be accessed across Scotland in a largely remote way: mainly online, over the phone or by post. Assessments, where needed, would be undertaken across Scotland but not at fixed office locations with agency staff travelling out to these locations from their home or office base. Within the digital space the user interface would be consistent across all benefits administered by the agency and all access from a staff perspective will be familiar and similar. The user experience would be standardised and made as accessible as practical.

2.4.2 Option 2 - The agency locally delivers social security in Scotland through local offices

What the agency does

Under option 2 what the agency does would be identical to option 1, the difference is how it will do this (see below).

What the agency does not do

The only functions the agency would not undertake in their entirety under option 2 would be identical to those in option 1, see Annex A.

What changes occur to the status quo?

Under option 2, the agency would take over responsibility for the same things as in option 1.

What would this look like practically?

Under option 2 social security in Scotland would be provided by a recognisable, branded agency. The agency would have a central headquarters, as well as a network of local offices, 'hubs' or mobile units managing local caseload and providing the face-to-face user interface with those applying for and in receipt of benefits. These offices would provide outreach to more remote areas, caseload management would be done locally as would assessment, along with some decisions, advice and support.

Two variants of option 2 are considered. Option 2a has a larger central headquarters with more central functions whereas option 2b has a smaller headquarters with more processing in local areas. Further detail is given in section 5.2.3.

The agency would have a staff resource divided into central headquarters staff who would not provide face-to-face contact and local staff providing face-to-face contact. The agency HQ would provide governance and management over centralised functions (such as IT and HR), but local offices would administer the benefits. The agency would be accessed across Scotland in a number of ways: online, over the phone, by post and face-to-face. Assessments, where needed, would be undertaken across Scotland at local office locations by local office staff or by these local staff travelling out to people's homes, prisons or more remote locations.

The digital landscape for option 2 would involve local caseloads managed in local offices by agency employees. Local telephony to support local caseload management with centralised telephony for centralised administrative functions. Secure connectivity from local offices to a centralised IT capability administering all benefits will be in place to support localised working. Flexibility to access workload from any connected location subject to permissions and security rules with the ability to operationally flex the priorities and routing of the caseload for local access. Notifications and payments will be made by a central system with automated reconciliation. The user interface would be consistent across all benefits administered by the agency and all access from a staff perspective will be familiar and similar. These user interfaces would be designed to ensure that accessibility standards are met and exceeded where possible.

2.4.3 Option 3 - The agency delivers most benefits, but Local Authorities provide the face-to-face contact for the social security system and additional benefits based on local need

What the agency does

Under option 3 a dual landscape would operate with most aspects of the 8 functions outlined above being undertaken by the social security agency. The agency would receive and answer queries and general enquiries as well as centralised advice and support online and over the telephone. They would also administer the bulk of benefits at a national level (application, processing / evaluation (but not assessment), award, payment and change of circumstances).

The agency would undertake most error management and investigations. It would provide a range of centralised functions (Corporate Functions, Business Development, Stakeholder Management/ Research/ Support Services, Learning and Development, Policy and Strategy Development). Under Option 3 this would however also include the development of nationally consistent guidance on social security to avoid a postcode lottery and providing funding to Local Authorities. It would also produce a range of management Information with Local Authorities and Scottish Government. It would also run a range of continuous capabilities (Evidence, Notification and Benefit Interaction) particularly between local authorities, DWP and Scottish Government.

What the agency does not do

Under option 3 Local Authorities would, alongside the agency, receive and answer queries and general enquiries. Local Authorities would also administer one off and crisis benefits at a local level (application, processing / evaluation, award and payment) via their existing systems. They would produce a range of Management Information for the agency and Scottish Government. They would also run a range of continuous capabilities (Evidence, Notification and Benefit Interaction) particularly between DWP and Scottish Government, see annex A.

Under option 3 pre-claim and support services would be provided via existing advice and support services in Scotland who would continue to provide independent advice, support and advocacy alongside advice and support included in a face-to-face setting given by local authorities. With Local Authorities providing face to face support for applications, agency resources for telephone support are smaller in this option than in option 1.

Local authorities would provide assessments, with the agency providing administrative support and decision making. Local Authorities would provide home and prison visits. The agency and Local Authorities would provide most, but not all of, dispute resolution (some functions would continue to be undertaken by others such as tribunals and Ombudsman) and investigations (where this would lead to prosecutions, these would be undertaken by the Procurator Fiscal). In addition, policy and strategic development and some aspects of management information would be provided by Scottish Government, see annex A.

What changes occur to the status quo?

Under option 3 the agency would govern the system but the delivery of benefits would be split between the Scottish social security agency and 32 local authorities. The agency will provide the bulk of benefits at a national level across Scotland. Additional benefits based on local need and for rapid response (short-term, one-off or occasional assistance based on local need) would be provided by local authorities (this would build on their current benefit administration e.g. SWF and DHP's). As in options 1 and 2, Universal Credit Flexibilities would be administered by DWP and the agency would provide appropriate governance over this arrangement. The agency and local authorities would take over control of the benefits being devolved to Scotland and work with DWP where Scottish benefits interact with reserved benefits.

What would this look like practically?

Under option 3 a dual landscape would exist with both a social security branded agency and the 32 Local Authorities providing a service.

The agency would be housed in centralised headquarters (possible in one or only a few locations), with a centralised caseload, IT capability and staff resource, employed by the agency housed within it. As well as general corporate, HR and IT staff, there would be operational staff working to administer benefits and specialist staff for particular demographics ( e.g. carers) and benefit related support ( e.g. bereavement). In this option the agency would be accessed across Scotland in a largely remote way: mainly online, over the phone or by post. Within the digital space the user interface would be consistent across the benefits administered by the agency and all access from a staff perspective will be familiar and similar.

Local authorities would provide the 'front door' service for social security giving advice and support and helping with additional application needs alongside the existing services they already provide in this area. They would also provide assessments locally alongside the existing services and assessments they already provide around social care. Within the digital space local authorities could use their existing systems to administer benefits in a similar way to the existing Scottish Welfare Fund. These systems would need to link to the agency's systems. Alternatively, if agreed they could use the agency's digital systems.

2.4.4 Option 4 The agency delivers cash and benefits in kind as goods, services or concessions.

What the agency does

Under option 4 what the agency does would be the same as option 1 and 2 the difference is that it would also be providing benefits 'in kind' as well as in cash in the form of goods, services and concessions (see annex A).

What the agency does not do

The only functions the agency would not undertake in their entirety under option 4 would be identical to those in option 1 or 2, see annex A.

What changes occur to the status quo?

Under option 4, the agency would take over responsibility for the same things as in option 1 and 2.

What would this look like practically?

Under option 4 social security in Scotland would be provided in the same way as in option 1 or option 2 either centrally or via local offices. The difference with this option is that as well as delivering cash benefits, the agency also delivers an array of benefits in kind. Under option 0 the status quo benefits in kind include Healthy Start vouchers, the Motability Scheme and items under the Scottish Welfare Fund. Under this option benefits in kind would cover these existing 'in kind' benefits and new ones covering 'goods' ( e.g. carpets or fridges), 'services' ( e.g. legal aid or caring/respite) and 'concessions' ( e.g. discounts or travel cards). As well as the social security agency staff outlined in option 1 and 2, an additional staff resource would be brought in (either as permanent staff or by procurement contract) to procure and in some cases store and deliver the various types of benefits in kind and an IT system to cover inventory, stock control and delivery. The Motability Scheme would remain as it is under the status quo under this option as well as all others.

If this options is a bolt on to option 1, pre-claim and support services would rely heavily on digital and phone routes for the user interface. If it was a bolt on to option 2, pre-claim and support services would be delivered through these routes as well as local offices. Therefore as a bolt on to option 2 face-to-face contact would also be available.

In terms of decision and receipt, under option 4 receipt would take different forms, depending on whether the recipient is receiving a cash payment, benefits in kind or a mixture. Recipients could also be provided with a 'benefits smart card', which works in the same way as a payment card which would be preloaded with money. Where recipients receive benefits in kind, these would be delivered to their home address and in some cases fitted.

2.4.5 Option 5 The agency provides governance but the delivery of social security is done by others e.g. via procurement or a Service Level Agreement.

What the agency does

Under option 5 a range of operational functions around pre claims support, enquiries, benefit processing and Assessment would be undertaken by others via procurement or an SLA rather than by the social security agency. This would mean that the agency would be much smaller than under other options like in option 6.

The agency would however undertake decision making, dispute resolution and some error management and investigations. It would provide a range of centralised functions (Corporate Functions, Business Development, Stakeholder Management / Research / Support Services, Learning and Development) with much larger procurement and audit divisions. It would also produce a range of management Information with Scottish Government. It would also coordinate a range of continuous capabilities (Evidence, Notification and Benefit Interaction) particularly between DWP and Scottish Government, see Annex A.

What the agency does not do

Others via procurement or an SLA would receive and answer queries and general enquiries. They would also administer benefits (application, processing (including assessment), payment and change of circumstances). This would mean assessment being undertaken by others not directly employed by the agency with the potential for private sector involvement, as is the case under the current status quo.

In addition in the area of pre claim and support services existing advice and support services in Scotland would continue to provide independent advice, support and advocacy alongside advice and support given by others via procurement or an SLA. Under dispute resolution some functions would continue to be undertaken by other existing providers such as tribunals and ombudsman and investigations where this would lead to prosecutions would be undertaken by the procurator fiscal. In addition, policy and strategic development and some aspects of management information would be provided by Scottish Government.

What changes occur to the status quo?

Under option 5, the agency would take over responsibility for governance of the social security benefits currently administered by local authorities e.g. Scottish Welfare Fund. These would be paid as cash payments (option 4 explores these being given as 'in-kind'). Universal Credit Flexibilities would be administered by DWP and the agency would provide appropriate governance over this arrangement. It would take over governance of the benefits being devolved to Scotland and work with DWP where Scottish benefits interact with reserved benefits. Others via procurement or an SLA would administer the benefits on behalf of the agency.

What would this look like practically?

Under option 5 the governance of social security in Scotland would be provided by a recognisable, branded agency. The agency would be housed in centralised headquarters (probably in one location), with a centralised IT capability and staff resource, employed by the agency housed within it. In this option the agency staff would be general corporate, procurement, audit, HR and IT staff employed by the agency. There would be additional operational staff working on specific aspects of benefits administration (disputes, appeals, error management /investigation, and decision making), with specialist staff for particular demographics ( e.g. carers) and benefit related support ( e.g. bereavement). Other administration functions (application processing, advice and support) would be undertaken by others on the agency's behalf. Contracted providers would be responsible for their own staff, estate, IT and telephony arrangements. How this would be specified would be up to the Scottish Government / agency and could include, or not include, face-to-face contact being available across Scotland as outlined in option 1 and option 2. Under this option there could either be a number of providers providing functions or only one or two - this would to some extent be determined by the way functions were procured or SLAs set up.

2.4.6 Option 6 Social security is embedded in a range of existing public services with the agency providing governance.

What the agency does

Under option 6 a range of existing public services in Scotland rather than the social security agency would processes benefits. This would mean that the agency would be much smaller than under other options.

The agency would however undertake some error management and investigations. It would provide a range of centralised functions (Corporate Functions, Business Development, Stakeholder Management/ Research/ Support Services, Learning and Development, Policy) with much larger procurement and audit divisions. It would also produce a range of management information with Scottish Government. It would also coordinate a range of continuous capabilities (Evidence, Notification and Benefit Interaction) particularly between DWP and Scottish Government, see Annex A

What the agency does not do

Other public sector organisations would receive and answer queries and general enquiries. They would also administer benefits (Application, processing/evaluation (including assessment), award, payment and change of circumstances). This would mean assessment being undertaken by others not directly employed by the agency with the potential, for example, for this to be done by the NHS or Local Authorities.

In addition in the area of pre claim and support services existing advice and support services in Scotland would continue to provide independent advice, support and advocacy alongside advice and support given by the agency. Under dispute resolution some functions would continue to be undertaken by other existing partners such as tribunals and ombudsman and investigations where this would lead to prosecutions would be undertaken by the procurator fiscal. In addition policy and strategic development and some aspects of management information would be provided by Scottish Government, see Figure B below.

What changes occur to the status quo?

Under option 6, the agency would take over responsibility for governance of the social security benefits. Local authorities would continue to administer the Scottish Welfare Fund. Universal Credit Flexibilities would be administered by DWP and the agency would provide appropriate governance over this arrangement. It would take over governance of the benefits being devolved to Scotland and work with DWP where Scottish benefits interact with reserved benefits. Other public sector organisations would however administer the benefits with the agency providing guidance, monitoring and oversight.

What would this look like practically?

Under option 6 the governance of social security in Scotland would be provided by a recognisable, branded agency. The agency would be housed in centralised headquarters (probably in one location), with a centralised IT capability and staff resource, employed by the agency housed within it. In this option the agency staff would be general corporate, HR and IT staff employed by the agency, there would be no operational staff working to administer benefits, which would be undertaken by other organisations. There would, however, be specialist staff for particular demographics ( e.g. carers) and benefit related support ( e.g. bereavement).

Other public sector organisations would be responsible for their own staff, estate, and telephony arrangements. Guidance and standard operating procedure on this would be designed by the agency to ensure consistency of information etc. The agency would therefore provide a coordination role similar to that provided to the NHS by National Services Scotland in terms of its commissioning of national services as well as a consistent IT solution. Responsibility would be based on the best location for each benefit's interface with the users. For example, this could mean that that the NHS is asked to take on the responsibility for administering Disability and Maternity payments and local authorities continue with discretionary benefits

The bulk of the new social security powers would therefore be delivered by existing and new staff across the public sector. For this to function, training and / or recruitment would be required to provide the additional services, and support is required for staff ( e.g. midwives) to do this in addition to existing workloads.

2.20. The function overviews are presented in a summary form for each of the options in Figure 6 and a full discussion can be found in annex A. In Figure 6, different colours represent different organisations - the functions are the same across options. The information in Figure 6 is summarised in a more accessible form in Figure 7.

Figure 6 - Function overview for all options

Figure 6 - Function overview for all options

2.5 Summary

2.21. Each of the options provide the functions needed to provide the services needed to operate the social security system under steady state. The difference is who will provide these functions and how. Under all options some corporate functions are provided by the Scottish Government e.g. in terms of policy and strategy and some by the social security agency e.g. governance. The other functions are provided depending on the option by either the agency or through another route e.g. local authorities, across the public sector or via procurement or SLA (see Figure 7 below). These delivery arrangements interact with the existing landscape of the Procurator Fiscal, Ombudsman and independent advice and support landscape the next section of the report looks at the costs of each of the options.

Figure 7 - Description of options

Figure 7 - Description of options


Contact

Email: Andy Park

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
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