The Scottish Government is consulting on a draft Bill, the Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill, which would make the Scottish Welfare Fund a permanent, statutory scheme. This consultation focuses on the contents of the Bill and arrangements for second tier review.
CAS argues that some aspects of the Bill should be clarified, and that organisations who are not local authorities have expertise to offer and should be consulted in the development and revision of guidance. "Target" processing times must not allow delays in processing of applications, which are often to deal with urgent or crisis needs.
Regarding second tier review (where an applicant has challenged a decision and had it reviewed by the local authority, but wants to take it further), CAS believes that such a process must be entirely independent of the local authority, and that an independent review service is the best option. Whatever approach is adopted, the priority must be a speedy and fair decision for the applicant.