Background and duties of each organisations
The principle duties of the Scottish Fiscal Fee (SFC) are set out in laws, particularly the Scottish Fiscal Fee Act 2016 and related rules. The SFC is a non-Ministerial Workplace within the Scottish Administration, consisting of Commissioners and employees, who develop and run the forecasting fashions and produce the forecasts required to fulfil the SFC statutory duties.
It’s the obligation of the Fee to organize forecasts not less than twice a 12 months to tell the Scottish Price range. These forecasts ought to cowl 5 years and embody Scottish onshore GDP, non-savings non-dividend revenue tax, assigned VAT, absolutely devolved taxes and devolved social safety revenues. The Fee should additionally assess the reasonableness of Ministers’ projections as to their borrowing necessities and gives commentary on the general Scottish Price range. The Fee might also at any time produce forecasts, assumptions and projections in relation to some other fiscal elements it considers applicable. The SFC additionally has a central position within the Scottish Authorities’s fiscal framework which determines funding for the Scottish Authorities.
The Treasury (HMT) is the UK Authorities’s financial and finance ministry, accountable for general fiscal and macroeconomic coverage, and coverage costings. It is usually accountable for the UK Authorities’s fiscal framework and accountable for assembly the fiscal guidelines as outlined within the Constitution for Price range Duty.
Function of this MoU
The preparations set out on this doc will help efficient common engagement and communication between SFC and HMT to facilitate:
a greater shared understanding of the Scottish Authorities’s fiscal framework and its impact on the Scottish Authorities’s funding
enhance SFC forecasts and commentary on Scottish fiscal points
making certain SFC has entry to required info on UK Authorities coverage adjustments which have an effect on devolved revenues or spending.
The MoU for engagement between the Fee and HMT relies on the next rules:
HMT recognises that the Fee is an impartial, apolitical and neutral analytical organisation and understands its capabilities.
Any knowledge or info shared by HMT with the Fee, and any broader collaboration and engagement with the Fee, will solely be utilized by the Fee in delivering its capabilities as set out within the Scottish Fiscal Fee Act 2016. It isn’t inside the Fee’s capabilities to touch upon HMT actions, publications or evaluation or UK Authorities coverage extra usually. The Fee reserves the proper to touch upon 2 HMT publications and evaluation in as far as they relate to the supply of its capabilities.
HMT and the Fee are dedicated to working an open and clear method to sharing related info.
HMT and the Fee will enable and encourage their officers to collaborate in a optimistic method, sustaining efficient communication.
To facilitate collaboration HMT and the SFC will often share lists of officers for workers working in related areas. Employees working in these areas can be made conscious of this MoU and particularly the respective roles of the SFC and HMT in these areas. They can even be made conscious of every organisation’s work cycles in relation to the Scottish and UK budgets.
The MoU is collectively owned by HMT and SFC. The MoU could have designated signatories who will signal on behalf of the respective events.
The SFC and HMT will nominate details of contact who can be accountable for making certain environment friendly and efficient communication between the SFC and HMT. There can be a contact within the HMT Devolution group and a contact within the Fiscal Statistics and Coverage group.
The continued relationship between the SFC and the HMT Devolution group will usually help engagement on issues regarding the Scottish Authorities’s funding preparations.
The contact within the Fiscal Statistics and Coverage group can be accountable for the method following UK fiscal occasions and making certain the Scottish Fiscal Fee has entry to the knowledge required on UK Authorities coverage adjustments affecting devolved revenues and spending.
Roles within the Scottish Authorities’s fiscal framework
Each HMT and the SFC play central roles within the operation of the Scottish Authorities’s fiscal framework and are dedicated to working collectively to make sure easy operation and clear communication of the Scottish Authorities’s fiscal framework.
HMT is accountable for the Scottish Authorities’s fiscal framework within the UK Authorities. SFC can method HMT to ask questions concerning the implementation of the Scottish Authorities’s fiscal framework, and any agreements reached between the Scottish Authorities and HMT.
The SFC’s forecasts of GDP can set off a Scotland-specific financial shock. The SFC is accountable for notifying HMT when a shock is triggered by its forecasts and can inform the Devolution group in HMT a minimum of 48-72 hours upfront of publication of its forecast.
SFC fiscal forecasts inform the operation of the Scottish Authorities’s fiscal framework and HMT officers can talk about the SFC forecasts with SFC officers after publication of these forecasts.
Assist for the Scottish Fiscal Fee with different departments
HMT are accountable for making certain the related UK Authorities departments are conscious of the SFC, their remit and duties and that applicable information-sharing preparations are in place to allow the Scottish Fiscal Fee to undertake their duties. These preparations are supported by Memorandum’s of Understanding between the SFC, the DWP and HMRC.[footnote 1]
SFC can name on the HMT level of contact to help engagement with different related components of HMT and different UK departments, particularly the DWP and HMRC. HMT will present help figuring out the proper people in these departments to talk to, and might help the Scottish Fiscal Fee in making requests for info held by these departments.
Underneath the 2016 settlement between the UK Authorities and Scottish Authorities on the Scottish Authorities’s fiscal framework the SFC must be given entry to the information and data essential to fulfilling of its statutory duties [footnote 2]. The settlement specifies the SFC ought to have entry to the required knowledge, info and fashions held by the UK Authorities to help coverage growth and produce forecasts of a comparable high quality to these produced by the Workplace of Price range Duty (OBR).
For the needs of this MoU there’s a distinction between private knowledge and data. Info is outlined as any piece of documentation, statistical info, monetary info, contracts and different info that doesn’t comprise private knowledge. Private knowledge could be thought-about as outlined in Half 1 Part 3 of the Information Safety Act 2018 and Article 4.1 of the UK Normal Information Safety Rules. Private knowledge won’t be shared as a part of this MoU.
Info will relate to coverage or evaluation affecting social safety advantages, tax revenues or wider public funds. Info shared will help SFC to hold out their statutory capabilities. This info can relate to Scottish particular knowledge in addition to UK, Nice Britain or England & Wales knowledge.
Dealing with of delicate info and FOI
The place info is shared between HMT and the SFC, the organisation which shares the knowledge will make it clear on the time it’s shared whether or not the knowledge is taken into account by that organisation to be delicate or restricted.
If a request is made to the SFC for the disclosure of data acquired from HMT, or that issues HMT info which is perhaps delicate or exempt beneath FOI laws, the SFC will inform HMT earlier than disclosing info in response to the request.
If a request is made to HMT for the disclosure of data acquired from SFC, or that issues SFC info which is perhaps delicate or exempt beneath FOI laws, HMT will inform the SFC earlier than disclosing info in response to the request.
Info on UK Authorities coverage which impacts Scottish Authorities tax revenues and social safety spending
The SFC could require info on introduced UK coverage adjustments which have a fabric impact on Scottish devolved taxes and spending, with the intention to mirror the results of those coverage adjustments of their forecasts. HMT will help the SFC to know UK Authorities coverage adjustments at UK fiscal occasions and the results on Scottish Authorities revenues and spending. This consists of adjustments to insurance policies which have an effect on the NSND revenue tax base and adjustments to social safety advantages that are devolved however administered by DWP based mostly on UK Authorities coverage.
For every UK Authorities fiscal occasion a working group can be established by the Fiscal Statistics and Coverage group in HMT. This working group will encompass officers from the SFC, HMT, OBR and related UK Authorities departments as wanted (DWP and HMRC principally). Previous to the fiscal occasion HMT and the SFC will agree the timing for the working group to satisfy. HMT recognise that the Scottish Price range can happen inside three weeks of a UK fiscal occasion. Due to this fact the turnaround occasions for the SFC to provide its forecasts might be very quick. Within the occasion that the Scottish Price range follows the UK fiscal occasion in three weeks the working group will meet inside three working days after the UK fiscal occasion. If within the occasion that the Scottish Price range happens greater than three weeks following the UK fiscal occasion, the working will meet in not more than eight working days after the UK fiscal occasion.
Instantly following any UK fiscal occasion HMT will contact SFC to agree the UK Authorities coverage adjustments on which the SFC requires info. HMT will liaise with the related analysts and coverage officers and agree attendance on the working group assembly. On the assembly it is going to be agreed whether or not any additional items of data have to be shared, this will embody knowledge to help the costing or sections of coverage costing notes supplied to the OBR. Timelines for the return of any info requested following the conferences can be agreed by officers.
Separate conferences could also be required for every coverage change being mentioned.
The SFC and HMT won’t share coverage info from both Authorities earlier than the insurance policies are publicly introduced.
The place SFC publications check with UK Authorities funding preparations or HMT coverage, the SFC will present HMT with pre-release copies of related sections of its reviews 5 working days upfront of publication. HMT can be invited to touch upon the factual accuracy of the reviews insofar because the content material pertains to the presentation of HMT info and the operation of the Scottish Authorities’s fiscal framework and return feedback 3 working days upfront of publication.
The place HMT publications check with SFC forecasts or working preparations, HMT will present the SFC with pre-release copies of related sections of its reviews 5 working days upfront of publication. The SFC can be invited to touch upon the factual accuracy of the reviews insofar because the content material pertains to the presentation of SFC forecasts and data and return feedback 3 working days upfront of publication.
Escalation course of
Each HMT and SFC are dedicated to working collectively in an setting of mutual belief and respect and selling a tradition of openness. Ought to disputes come up, they need to be resolved informally between the employees involved and failing that by way of the factors of contact. If points can’t be resolved by way of the factors of contact or their line administration chain, in distinctive circumstances because of the seriousness of the problem or as a result of immediate senior administration motion is required, both organisation could method the signatories of this MoU or their successors.
This MoU could also be diversified by mutual written settlement of every occasion at any time. Variations to this MoU can be agreed by every occasion in writing and type an modification to this MoU. 32.The upcoming overview of the Scottish Authorities’s fiscal framework could require revisions to this MoU. This MoU can be formally reviewed no later than six months after the conclusion of that overview. If revisions are required these can be agreed by each events and a revised MoU can be revealed.
Date: 24 August 2022
Title: Ruth Curtice
Place: Director for Fiscal Group, HM Treasury
Scottish Fiscal Fee
Date: 23 August 2022
Title: John Eire
Place: Chief Govt, Scottish Fiscal Fee