Concerns over advocacy reforms

11 March 2020

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The Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance (SIAA) has raised significant concerns about the Scottish Government’s tendering process for independent advocacy services to support disabled people claim entitlements from Social Security Scotland.

 

The Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 extends the right to access independent advocacy to more people. The Act says that Scottish Ministers must make independent advocacy services available to disabled people who, because of their disability, need the support of an independent advocate to engage with the Scottish social security system. The Scottish Government is currently undertaking a procurement exercise for the commissioning of these services.

 

SIAA raises serious concerns about the procurement process and the availability and quality of independent advocacy that will be delivered as a result of its shortcomings. Read more about our concerns on Third Force News.

 

We wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People on 17th January explaining our concerns in detail and, on the 6th February, we received a reply. We do not, however, believe that the Cabinet Secretary’s reply adequately addresses the issues raised by SIAA.

 

For further information please read the SIAA Position Statement, summarising our concerns, which we have sent to the Scottish Commission on Social Security, members of the Scottish Parliament’s Social Security Committee and SIAA members. You can also read our letter to the Cabinet Secretary and her response to our concerns.

 

For further information please email enquiry@siaa.org.uk.