The inspectorate in 2021-22
49. The inspectorate is funded by the Scottish Government. Our budget for 2021-22 was £400,000, an increase from £350,000 in 2020-21 primarily to take account of rising staff costs. Staff costs typically account for around 95% of our annual spend (in 2021-22, staff costs made up 97% of our annual spend).
50. In 2021-22, our expenditure was as follows:
Staff costs: 358,414
Subsistence and motor mileage: 0
Printing and binding: 1,419
Travel and accommodation: 0
Conference fees: 641
Other running costs: 9,149
51. In 2021-22, the inspectorate's travel and accommodation costs continued to be significantly less than normal due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the fact staff worked mostly from home for a significant proportion of the year and carried out inspection activity remotely. In 2021-22, we had allocated money within our budget to the development of a standalone, independent website. Due to delays in progressing this project by the Scottish Government, this money was not spent, contributing to our underspend. The website will now be procured in 2022-23.
52. As at 31 March 2022, the staff of IPS was 4.4 full-time equivalents and consisted of the Chief Inspector, Assistant Inspector of Prosecution, Legal Inspector, Business Inspector and a Personal Assistant.
53. The current Chief Inspector was appointed in 2019 to serve a three-year term. She was reappointed for a further three-year term in 2022.
54. The posts of Assistant Inspector of Prosecution and Legal Inspector are held by individuals seconded from COPFS. Their knowledge and familiarity with COPFS systems and procedures assists the inspectorate in its scrutiny activity, and the secondments offer COPFS personnel an invaluable development opportunity. The remaining staff are civil servants employed by the Scottish Government.
Register of interests
55. At the time of her appointment as HM Chief Inspector in 2019, Laura Paton had served as a trustee of the charity Together (Scottish Alliance for Children's Rights) since 2016. Her involvement in Together was noted in the register of interests held by the Scottish Government and highlighted on the inspectorate's web pages, and her appointment as HM Chief Inspector of Prosecution in Scotland was likewise noted in Together's register of interests. Appropriate safeguards are in place to avoid any potential conflicts of interest. In September 2020, Ms Paton was elected as Vice Chair of Together, and continued in her role as trustee. In the interests of transparency, her involvement in Together will be noted in the inspectorate's annual reports as well as any inspection report which deals with any substantial issue of children's rights. Ms Paton's term as Vice Chair and as a trustee of Together came to an end in September 2022.
Freedom of Information requests
56. IPS is subject to the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. We publish information about our work, including our inspection reports, on our web pages which are currently hosted on the Scottish Government's website. In 2021-22, we received no freedom of information requests.