Chair's letter of appointment
Working with the UK Covid-19 Inquiry
How does the Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry fit with the UK Covid-19 Inquiry?
If you live in Scotland, you may be affected by the investigations of both the Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry and the UK Covid-19 Inquiry.
The response to the COVID-19 pandemic involved both Scottish and UK authorities. The establishment of the Scottish and UK Covid-19 inquiries ensures both the devolved Scottish response and the UK response to the pandemic are investigated.
Both inquiries can only investigate what is in their respective Terms of Reference, and there will be occasions where the UK Covid-19 Inquiry will consider the same issues as the Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry, including where those matters are devolved.
The Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry will only investigate areas devolved to Scotland. They relate broadly to the devolved areas of health and social care, education and young people, and business, welfare, and financial support.
The UK Covid-19 Inquiry’s Terms of Reference require it to “examine, consider and report on preparations and the response to the pandemic in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland”. In so doing, it will “consider reserved and devolved matters across the United Kingdom, as necessary, but will seek to minimise duplication of investigation, evidence gathering and reporting with any other public inquiry established by the devolved governments. To achieve this, the Inquiry will set out publicly how it intends to minimise duplication, and will liaise with any such inquiry before it investigates any matter which is also within that inquiry’s scope”.
The Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry is investigating the devolved strategic response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2022. The UK Covid-19 Inquiry is investigating the period to 28 June 2022.
Both inquiries are obliged to take steps to minimise any duplication of evidence gathering, investigation and reporting, and are liaising in this regard. The inquiries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in February 2023, which formalises how the two inquiries will work together. The MoU can be read below.
The Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry recognises the importance of it being clear to people which Inquiry is responsible for looking at particular issues. If your issue relates to Scotland and falls within the Scottish Inquiry’s Terms of Reference, it will be within the remit of the Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry.