Specialist adviser role with the Scottish Affairs Committee

19 March 2019

The House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee is looking for a specialist adviser for its inquiry into the Use and Misuse of Drugs in Scotland. This provides an exciting opportunity to contribute to this new inquiry. Your role will be to supplement existing internal expertise, and provide advice to the Committee staff.

The Committee

The Scottish Affairs Committee is a Committee of eleven Members of Parliament appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Scotland Office including relations with the Scottish Parliament. We also look at the administration and expenditure of the offices of the Advocate General for Scotland (excluding individual cases and advice given within government by the Advocate General). We work principally by undertaking inquiries. We choose our own subjects of inquiry and seek evidence from a wide range of groups and individuals with relevant interests and experience.

You can find out more about our previous and current inquires on our website.

The Role

Following the launch of its recent inquiry into the Use and Misuse of Drugs in Scotland, the Committee wishes to appoint a specialist adviser who has expert knowledge of the social, legal, policy and political issues surrounding drug use. Understanding of the specific Scottish context, and knowledge of the UK and Scottish legal and policy frameworks is desirable, but not essential.

Applicants should satisfy the following criteria:

  • expert understanding of the underlying issues in the terms of reference for the inquiry,
  • detailed knowledge of safeguarding issues, policy and best practice, within the context of drug abuse and related issues,
  • ability to provide clear and concise briefing and advice, in writing and orally, to senior decision-makers and Committee staff,
  • ability to work in the UK.

Examples of the types of work you may be asked to do include:

  • advise on individuals, organisations and experts to consult with and hear evidence from during the course of our inquiry,
  • providing analysis and advice to the Committee staff on evidence provided to the Committee;
  • supporting Committee staff in conducting research and fact checking
  • providing advice to the Committee staff on issues of safeguarding vulnerable witnesses, including correspondence and other interactions with potentially vulnerable people;
  • working with the Committee staff to review internal working documents such as briefs, summaries of informal evidence gathering sessions, and reports; and,
  • advising on draft itineraries for Committee visits during which the Committee may meet with vulnerable individuals.

The exact level of work will be agreed by you and the Committee Clerk (team leader) – however, it is not anticipated that you will be asked to work more than one day per week. The role is likely to run from late-April until the around the end of June 2019. The overall commitment is unlikely to be more than around fifteen days.

You would be paid a daily honorarium on the basis of work done.

The names of individual appointed as Select Committee Specialist Adviser are put in the public domain.

Application process

To apply please send a CV and cover letter of no more than one A4 page each, and a declaration of relevant interests to the email address below. In your cover letter please outline any relevant expertise and experience, and your ability to take on work at short notice if required.

Your declaration of interests should include anything that a reasonable person might consider could influence the advice you give the Committee. For example, a relevant financial interest, active membership of a relevant campaign group or political party, or the involvement of a close family member in the area of specialism. The declared interests of the successful applicant will be published.

The Committee values diversity and encourages applications from people from a wide range of backgrounds. We can accommodate remote working.

Your application should be sent to no later than Wednesday 3 April 2019 with “Specialist adviser application” as the subject of the email.

If you have any questions about the role in advance of making an application, please contact the Committee team on 020 7219 8204 or via email at (again with “Specialist adviser application” as the subject of the email).

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