Public Inquiry into Scotland’s Handling of Covid-19

The RSE has commented on the Scottish Government’s plans for establishing later this year an independent public inquiry into the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic in Scotland. Given the nature, scale and impact that the pandemic has had on the people of Scotland we agree it is hugely important that the Scottish Government commission an independent public inquiry. Drawing upon the experience of the RSE’s Post-Covid-19 Futures Commission, the RSE has set out suggestions on the aims and principles for the public inquiry. The RSE is clear that the inquiry needs to consider how Scotland can be better prepared for a wide range of future shocks, not only pandemics.

It will be crucial that the public inquiry adopts an inclusive approach to evidence gathering and engagement, as securing a diversity of views will be critical. Engagement and communication approaches will need to be tailored to meet the needs of a wide range of different voices. It will also be important that there are connections between Scotland’s public inquiry and the separate inquiry being taken forward by the UK Government. There is also an opportunity for Scotland to share knowledge with international partners, and to learn lessons from other countries’ handling of the pandemic.

The RSE looks forward to continuing to engage in the plans for the public inquiry.