Scottish COVID-19 Public Inquiry Establishment

Scottish Ministers have announced that a Scottish public inquiry will be established this year to consider Scotland’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.     

An Aims and Principles paper was published on 24 August that forms the basis of the stakeholder engagement, which will shape the Terms of Reference for the inquiry. It is available online at here.   

The Scottish Government are keen to hear a wide range of views on the Aims and Principles paper. To do this you can send an email to COVID-19publicinquirysetupteam@gov.scot. There is no requirement for emails to be in any particular format.   

Please note that the Scottish Government, including this mailbox, is not taking evidence on behalf of the inquiry. Instead, they are seeking views on the Government’s approach to setting up the inquiry. When sending in views, you may wish to comment on the following questions:  

  • What do you think the Inquiry should cover?   
  • What do you think the Inquiry should not cover?  
  • Is there any type of evidence that you think is essential for the Inquiry to obtain?  
  • What should happen to ensure the Inquiry is completed as quickly as reasonable thoroughness permits?  
  • How should the Inquiry report its progress?   
  • Should there be interim reports? If so, what should the Inquiry deal with in interim reports?   
  • Should the Inquiry be required to make recommendations?   
  • What should be done to ensure everyone learns from the Inquiry?  
  • How should the Inquiry be designed so that it takes a person-centred, human rights-based approach to its work? For example, do you have views on inclusiveness and accessibility of venues and information?  
  • What help and support could be made available for those participating   in the Inquiry?  
  • Do you have views on whether there should be a panel of members and/or assessors, in addition to the Inquiry Chair?  
  • Do you have any other comments about the design of the COVID-19 Public Inquiry?  

The deadline for sending comments is midnight on 30 September 2021.   

Additionally, the Scottish Government are setting up a number of discussions, for those who would like to participate in this way to talk to Scottish Government officials who are collecting views on the establishment of the Inquiry. The discussions will take around 90 minutes and focus on the same questions as those listed above.   

They are holding a session on local government on 17 September at 10am via Microsoft Teams. If you would like to book, please get tickets here. Places are limited however as mentioned above, comments given in writing will be treated in the same way as those made in the group discussions. Additionally, they hope to host another session before the end of this month. 

In October, analytical colleagues from the Scottish Government will develop a report in order to capture input from across the three different forms of engagement. The analysis will be conducted by analysts in line with the Government Social Research Code and its core values of integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality.     

REHIS is a registered charity in Scotland, SC009406

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