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Publication - Minutes

Data Management Board minutes: June 2017

Published: 4 Dec 2017
Date of meeting: 14 Jun 2017
Location: Victoria Quay, Edinburgh

Minutes from the June 2017 meeting of the Data Management Board (DMB)

4 Dec 2017
Data Management Board minutes: June 2017

Attendees and apologies


  • Sarah Davidson, Chair - Director General, Communities, Scottish Government
  • Ken MacDonald, Assistant Commissioner for Scotland and Northern Ireland, Information Commissioner's Office
  • Ruchir Shah, Head of Policy, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations
  • Roger Halliday, Chief Statistician, Scottish Government
  • Gerry Donnelly, Head of Data Resources, National Record of Scotland
  • Joyce White, Chief Executive, West Dunbartonshire Council
  • Phillip Couser, NHS: NSS
  • Sheenagh Adams, Keeper, Register of Scotland
  • Rosemary Agnew, Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
  • Doreen Grove, Directorate General, Communities, Scottish Government


  • Stuart Law, National Records of Scotland
  • Stephen Peacock, Digital Directorate, Scottish Government
  • Jessica Roscoe, Digital Directorate, Scottish Government
  • Cat Macauly, Digital Directorate, Scottish Government
  • Anna Henderson, Digital Directorate, Scottish Government
  • Ross Clark, Digital Directorate, Scottish Government


  • Jane Davidson, Chief Executive, NHS Borders
  • Neil Logan, Chair DataLab, Technology Advisory Group (TAG) member and CEO of Incremental Group
  • Andrew Morris, Chief Scientist
  • Tim Ellis, Registrar General and Keeper of the Records of Scotland
  • Graeme Laurie, Professor of Medical Jurisprudence, Edinburgh Law School
  • Vicky Brock, CEO, Clear Returns
  • Margaret Keyse, Acting Scottish Information Commissioner

Items and actions


1. Sarah Davidson welcomed all to the meeting and in particular Sheenagh Adams who has recently joined the Data Management Board (DMB). Sarah also offered her congratulations and best wishes to Rosemary Agnew in her new position as Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.

2. The meeting confirmed that they were content with the minute of the last full meeting of the DMB on 11 October 2016.

3. At the October meeting the DMB had an in-depth round table discussion on verification, for the purpose of aiding on-going policy development. Sarah informed DMB of the progress that has been made since then, which includes:

  • An announcement by Minister’s that the Scottish Government would not be taking forward proposals to widen access to the National Health Services Register. Ministers also advised Parliament of our intention to develop a Scottish approach to identity assurance.

  • An interim meeting of some DMB members in March 2017, to provide initial thoughts and ideas in relation to the announcement.

  • The development of an outline project initiation document.

4. Sarah noted that, as a result of our preliminary work on identity assurance, it is becoming clear that we will need to adopt a co-production approach to designing a new system.

Item 1 - Digital Strategy for Scotland and Consideration of Priority Issues

5. Roger Halliday provided the meeting with a short presentation on the changes within his newly formed ‘Data, Statistics, and Outcomes Division’. These changes will enable us to:

  • Give clear leadership to data issues, and .

  • Help us avoid parallel conversations on data happening and give us the chance to coherently tackle the ‘big issues’.

6. Roger went on to describe the main priorities for the Data, and Statistics, and Outcomes Division, these are:

  • Skills - building and bringing together skills in analysis, leadership and privacy and ethics.

  • Innovation – Promoting models like CivTech to sell the benefits of data to save time, money and lives across Scotland.

  • Engagement – involving the public in how their data is used and to help develop a network of people to shape a narrative for on-going engagement.

  • Infrastructure – sending out clear messages to achieve a change in culture across the organisation, and to capitalise on the opportunities that exist for investment.

7. The remit and membership of DMB was briefly touched upon with Roger noting that:

  • A paper on governance will be brought to DMB in due course

  • It will be important to bring in privacy interests to the board as work on assurance progresses.

8. Sarah responded to Roger’s presentation by stating that the professionalisation of the statistics profession is implicit in all of this work. And, furthermore, adding that the development of data science is enabling collaboration across the UK.

Item 2 - Workshop on Identity Assurance

9. Cat Macaulay provided an introduction in which she stressed that identity assurance enables us to think differently, to be innovative and make better decisions.

10. DMB were divided into two groups with one group being asked to consider a new identity assurance from the perspective of a public service provider with the other group discussing the issue from the perspective of a public service user.

11. The goal of the session was to give the board a chance to help the team understand whether the objectives, scope and anticipated benefits of the project are heading in the right direction through the lens of the two key ‘users’ of identity verification: public service users and public service providers. In effect sanity checking and challenging our thinking.

12. The outcomes of the session were two project canvases – one for public service users and the other for public service providers – which will be invaluable in helping us move the project on.

13. At the end of the workshop DMB was invited to provide feedback, this included:

(from the perspective of providers)

  • Risk - and who are likely to be the main bearers of risk.

  • Equality – it was suggested that a wide reaching conversation needs to be opened to ensure we are able to listen to a broad range of voices and concerns.

  • EU/UK – we need to ensure the new system is compatible with those in the EU and UK.

  • Scope – more work needs to be done on the scope of the project, i.e. what will be mandated and what will be voluntary?

(from the perspective of users)

  • Buy-in – how do we ensure that citizens don’t feel this is something being imposed on them?

  • On-going conversation – the group stressed the importance of using understandable, straightforward language to involve users in a two-way conversation (rather than formal consultation) to ensure they can see the benefits of what will be a safe, accessible and money saving system.

14. In conclusion Roger outlined the proposed next steps which are to:

  • Clarify the process and plan.

  • Go out to services to find out what they have in place and where they are going.

  • Update DMB of progress in a few months’ time.

  • Map stakeholder engagements and develop a stakeholder engagement strategy.

Action Table: Summary

Action Owner
Paper on governance to be brought to DMB Secretariat
Consider which privacy interests should be brought into the board and when this should happen Secretariat
Paper to clarify the process and plan to be brought to DMB Secretariat