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New Scottish government business partnership ‘provides more certainty’

Out-Law News | 08 Dec 2021 | 9:50 am | 1 min. read

A new partnership between the Scottish government and business will provide the sector “with more certainty that their interests will be represented in policy development,” according to one expert.

The partnership, which ministers said is not a “fixed set of rules”, aims to improve how policies impacting on businesses are “developed and delivered”.

Scott Wright, public policy expert at Pinsent Masons, said the agreement “demonstrates that the Scottish government is committed to engaging with businesses when developing policy.”

Under the terms of the partnership, which is linked to Scotland's existing National Performance Framework, the Scottish government committed to working more closely with groups like the Confederation of British Industry, Federation of Small Businesses, and the Institute of Directors over the coming parliamentary session.

“For their part, business representative parties to the agreement will provide a coordinated two-way route to engage the diverse business community in Scotland, while also identifying appropriate opportunities for individual businesses to input directly to the co-develop and collaborative delivery process,” a Scottish government statement said.

The new partnership with business would help “deliver a diverse, entrepreneurial and profitable business base able to provide secure jobs, support communities, nurture innovation and foster sustainability as we transition to a net zero economy,” it added.

The Scottish government also said a structure will be put in place “to oversee progress and provide channels for direct and honest feedback.”

Wright said: “Now that these principles have been adopted, it will provide business with more certainty that their interests will be represented in policy development.”

“When engaging with the Scottish government and parliamentarians, organisations should be willing to provide tangible examples of how a policy may impact on their businesses and wider sector and share insights on how a policy could be improved,” he added.

“It will also provide a fresh impetus for businesses to engage more proactively with government ministers and officials to ensure that the partnership principles are being adhered to.”

“This could manifest itself in more focussed events such as policy roundtables and briefing sessions,” Wright added.