Leadership and governance structures
44. The overarching purpose of COPFS is to secure justice for the people of Scotland. Achieving operational effectiveness in serious cases and ensuring compliance with time limits is an integral part of that aim. There are a number of performance targets that act as drivers to ensure that cases are dealt with expeditiously. There is a well-defined governance structure providing clarity of roles and responsibilities.
45. COPFS delivers its business via four Federations: three geographical Federations - the East, West and North; and a National Federation which includes a number of specialist units including the Health and Safety Division, International Co-operation Unit and the High Court Unit (HCU). Within the Federations there was a move to functional working aimed at introducing a greater degree of specialisation when dealing with core operational work. Each of the core functions is overseen by an Operational Board headed up by a member of the Senior Civil Service as the functional lead. The remits of the High Court and Sheriff and Jury operational boards include day-to-day responsibility for the effectiveness and quality of High Court and Sheriff and Jury business and the management of the risks associated with such delivery. Solemn cases are investigated and prepared for court in High Court and Sheriff and Jury teams known as hubs.
46. The risk of failing to comply with time limits is a key COPFS corporate risk, which is reflected in the risk registers of each of the High Court and Sheriff and Jury business areas. A number of controls have been put in place to assist in managing the risk including: a monitoring regime of management information; reviewing existing processes to ensure maximum efficiency, consistency and uniformity across COPFS; identification of best practice; and moving work between Federations to achieve maximum efficiency. To assist the Operational Boards, a standardised "health check" report is compiled each month providing an analysis of performance in keys areas in each Federation.
47. The Operational Boards are accountable to the COPFS Executive Board. In addition to the Operational Boards, the Executive Board is supported by the Business Services Group which is responsible for the delivery of a number of corporate services.
48. The Executive Board is charged with implementing the vision and delivering the priorities set by the COPFS Strategic Board and is accountable for key targets and standards of delivery of the COPFS strategic objectives.
49. The Executive Board reports in turn to the COPFS Strategic Board. It provides strategic direction to COPFS and sets priorities to be delivered effectively and efficiently within the available resource.