What is a Public Inquiry?

Work is currently underway to establish a Scottish Public Inquiry to investigate the handling of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Scotland.

The purpose of a public inquiry is to:

  • investigate events causing public concern
  • establish the facts in relation to such issues
  • determine the explanations for decisions taken, and causes of anything which may not have gone as expected
  • consider if and how different outcomes could have been achieved
  • establish any lessons to be learned from what has happened
  • make any recommendations that the Inquiry considers appropriate

Please note that we are not currently taking evidence on behalf of the inquiry. Instead we are seeking views on the Government’s approach to setting up the inquiry.

What is the Scottish Government doing with this Dialogue?

As one of several ways we are engaging with stakeholders and the public, your ideas and comments will help inform the suggested approach to establishing a COVID-19 Public Inquiry in Scotland and finalising the terms of reference.

The terms of reference, which will be set by Ministers, will detail what the Inquiry can and must achieve, for example:

  • its overall purpose
  • the particular matters to be determined e.g. whether the inquiry is being invited to review policy in a given area, or consider the facts of a particular case
  • whether it is required to make recommendations

A Scottish Inquiry can only look into devolved matters in relation to Scotland. The Inquiry will operate independently of government and we are engaging with people and their representatives to ensure its terms of reference cover issues that have caused concern.

The contributions from this Dialogue challenge will be analysed for a report that will be used by the Government as it carries out its work to set up the inquiry

Please share your views

This dialogue opened on Thursday 23 September 2021 and will close on Thursday 30 September 2021.

To add new ideas, comment on or rate other people's ideas, you will first need to register on the Dialogue platform. This should only take a moment. 

If you are responding on behalf of an organisation, and wish the Scottish Government to be able to identify who has made the response, please consider either mentioning your organisation name in your response or making your username the same as your organisation’s name when registering.

We will be moderating ideas and comments in accordance with our moderation policy. Submissions that do not adhere to our policy will be rejected from publishing. Comments will be moderated between 8am and 10pm on weekdays, and between 10am and 4pm on weekends.

In addition to this Dialogue, we are also looking for comment on the Aims and Principles paper for the Covid Inquiry and encourage comments to be sent to COVID-19publicinquirysetupteam@gov.scot

Please add ideas to the dialogue below

We are particularly interested to hear your ideas on the following:

  • What do you think the Inquiry should, and should not, cover?
  • What should be done to ensure everyone learns from the Inquiry?
  • How should the Inquiry be designed to ensure people are at the centre and voices are heard?
  • Do you have any other comments about the design of the COVID-19 Public Inquiry?

87 ideas