The inspectorate in 2019-20
36. The inspectorate's budget for 2019-20 was £350,000. The expenditure was as follows:
|Subsistence and motor mileage
|Printing and binding
|Travel and accommodation
|Other running costs
*No member of staff earned in excess of £150,000.
37. For three months in 2019-20 (between August and November 2019), the post of HM Chief Inspector was vacant pending ongoing recruitment and appointment processes, contributing to the underspend in budget.
38. As at 31 March 2020, 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.
39. 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. In 2019, for the first time in the inspectorate’s history, an individual from outwith COPFS was appointed as HM Chief Inspector.
40. During 2019-20, Michelle Macleod stepped down as HM Chief Inspector in August 2019, and Dawn Lewington stepped down as Assistant Inspector of Prosecution in July 2019. The inspectorate is grateful to them both for their significant contributions to its work.
Register of interests
41. At the time of her appointment as HM Chief Inspector, 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. From September 2020, 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.
Freedom of Information requests (FOI)
42. We publish FOI information and all our reports on our website. During 2019-20, we received one Freedom of Information request and responded within the required timescale.
43. Our Complaints Handling Procedure is published on our website and seeks to resolve any dissatisfaction as quickly as possible and where necessary to conduct thorough, impartial and fair investigations of complaints. Our Complaints Handling Procedure does not extend to individual complaints about operational decisions relating to specific cases. These should be addressed to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (www.copfs.gov.uk).
To The Right Honourable James Wolffe QC
The Lord Advocate
The Fifteenth Annual Report to the Scottish Parliament
HM Chief Inspector
HM Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland
Laid before the Scottish Parliament by the Lord Advocate in pursuance of s79(8) of the Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Act 2007