A key paper ‘Principles, Priorities and Processes’, from the redress scheme survivor working group was presented which communicated survivors hopes for the scheme. It was agreed that an action plan to set out what would be required to implement the ideas in the paper will be brought back to the next board meeting.
The Board, chaired by the Bishop of Truro, Philip Mounstephen and which includes survivor representatives, also considered whether a legislative process would be needed to underpin the Scheme. This followed a previous decision by the Project Board that the principle of subsidiarity should apply – that appropriate responsibility for redress needs to be taken at every level of the Church as well as national; this would include dioceses, PCCs, theological educational institutions and religious communities. It was agreed to pursue the legalislative route but following a discussion where concerns were raised about timescale and the lengthy legislative process, Board members agreed to aim to have a pilot up and running before completion of legislation.
The project team have researched the standard time for the creation of other schemes of a similar scale (Ireland, Australia, Scotland) and these took up to three years to design and set up. Therefore, the process for setting up the scheme will include a procurement process and/or legislation which could take final completion of the project into 2024 or 2025. However, the Board is very mindful both of the need to ensure a robust scheme that is fully responsive to the needs of survivors, and to deliver a scheme in a short a timescale as is possible. Thus, the project team is currently looking into whether it is possible to launch a pilot phase by the end of 2023.
It was also agreed to move ahead with the procurement and tender process for the provider of the Scheme, noting the importance of wider consultation with different stakeholders, including victims and survivors and that survivors must have confidence in the chosen provider. Survivor representatives from the working group will be involved in the procurement panel to assess the potential providers.