Equalities, Social Inclusion and Sport Directorate
Deputy Director - Social Inclusion Division - Tel: 0131-244 5120 F: 0131-244 0810
Online Consulation Form
3 August 2009
Dear Sir or Madam
CONSULTATION ON UK EQUALITY BILL - SOCIO-ECONOMIC DUTY
Scottish Ministers have decided to undertake a consultation in Scotland on extending the public sector duty on socio-economic inequalities in the UK Equality Bill to cover public bodies in Scotland. This letter is to inform you of the launch of this consultation exercise and to draw your attention to the online consultation paper and response form, which can be found here.
The UK Government introduced the Equality Bill at Westminster on 27 April 2009. Part of this Bill introduces a duty on public authorities to address the inequality that arises from socio-economic disadvantage, and to place this objective at the core of their policies and programmes. This duty relates to devolved functions and, as the Bill is currently drafted, applies to England and Wales only. However this duty may be amended to apply to Scottish public authorities, if this is considered to be an appropriate course of action.
Please note that this consultation relates solely to the socio-economic duty. A separate consultation exercise on the specific public sector duties in the Equality Bill will take place in Autumn 2009.
We would welcome responses to this consultation , by 27th October 2009 at the latest. Early responses would be much appreciated. If you have any queries, Raymond Kirk (Email: Raymond.email@example.com or Tel: 0131 244 0094) would be happy to help.
Details on how to respond to this consultation exercise are provided in the Annex to this letter.
Deputy Director Social Inclusion Division
Responding to the consultation
Please send your response with the completed Respondent Information Form (see "Handling your Response" below) to:
Social Inclusion Division
Area 2F South
We are inviting written responses to this consultation paper by 27 October 2009. Please note that the closing date will not be extended.
This consultation, and all other Scottish Government consultations, can be viewed online on the consultation web pages of the Scottish Government website at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/consultations.
The Scottish Government now has an email alert system for consultations - SEconsult: This allows individuals and organisations to register and receive a weekly email containing details of all new consultations (including web links). SEconsult complements, but in no way replaces Scottish Government distribution lists, and is designed to allow stakeholders to keep up to date with all Scottish Government consultation activity, and therefore be alerted at the earliest opportunity to those of most interest. We would encourage you to register.
We would be grateful if you could clearly indicate in your response which questions or parts of the consultation paper you are responding to as this will aid our analysis of the responses received.
Handling your response
We need to know how you wish your response to be handled and, in particular, whether you are happy for your response to be published and therefore made public.
Please complete and return the Respondent Information Form which forms part of this consultation as this will ensure that we treat your response appropriately. If you respond and ask for your response not to be published we will regard it as confidential, and treat it accordingly.
All respondents should be aware that the Scottish Government are subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and would therefore have to consider any request made to it under the Act for information relating to responses made to this consultation exercise.
Next steps in the process
Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public and after we have checked that they contain no potentially defamatory material, responses will be published and made available in the Scottish Government Library by 22 November 2009. You can make arrangements to view responses by contacting the Scottish Government Library on 0131 244 4552. Responses can be copied and sent to you, but a charge may be made for this service.
Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and a report of the consultation will be published on the Scottish Government website.
Queries, comments and complaints
If you have any queries, comments or complaints about how this consultation exercise has been conducted, please send them to Raymond Kirk, at the address above, or email Raymond.firstname.lastname@example.org.