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Senior Management Team meeting - 18 July 2023

15 Aug 2023


  1. Welcome
  2. Minutes and Action Log from previous meeting 
  3. Commissioner 
  4. Communications 
  5. Policy Documents – Amendments and Updates – for approval 
  6. Finance 


Michelle Macleod     Commissioner (MM)

Phil Chapman          Director of Operations (PC)

Sharon Smit            Accountable Officer / Head of Corporate Services (SS)

Sharon Clelland       Head of Legal Services (SC)

John McSporran      Head of Investigations (JMcS)

Ilya Zharov              Head of Policy & Reviews (IZ)

Rhoda Braddick       Communications Manager (RB)

Jennifer Fisher        Secretariat (JLF)


1. Welcome and Apologies

PC opened the meeting and welcomed all Senior Management Team (SMT) members.

Apologies were noted from Laura Duguid, Finance Manager.

Matters proposed to be considered in private 
SMT agreed to consider agenda items 7-13 in private, for the reasons set out on the agenda.

2. Minutes and Action Log from previous meeting

Draft Minutes 
SMT approved the minutes of the June 2023 meeting.

Action Log 
Provide a Media Enquiry aide memoire for both Police and Crown referred investigations that provide recommended media enquiry responses. 
Update: 18/07/2023 
Aide Memoire has been drafted and is included within the PIRC Publication Policy (currently under review).

Members noted the update provided.

3. Commissioner

Update paper 
MM provided a paper to members (circulated in advance) containing detailed updates on a range of ongoing work, drawing attention to the following areas:

  • Sheku Bayoh Public Inquiry – Oral Submissions from core participants was held on 27 June 2023. PIRC Counsel did not make any written or oral submissions.
  • Police (Ethics, Conduct and Scrutiny) (Scotland) Bill – MM advised she and SC are assessing what, if any, implications the new legislation has for PIRC. MM, PC and SC are scheduled to meet with SG in August to review. 
  • Civil Case – appeal hearing scheduled for 16-17 August 2023.
  • Victims and Witnesses and Justice Reform Bill – MM and SC are reviewing the Bill to establish if there is any impact for PIRC. A further update will be provided when available.
  • Human Rights Bill for Scotland – On initial review, it would appear there is no immediate actions for PIRC.  MM and IZ will continue to review and update members as required. 
  • Stakeholder Engagements in late July / early August 2023.

Members noted the update provided.

4. Communications

Update paper 
RB provided a summary of the Communications update paper (circulated in advance), drawing attention to the following areas:

  • Website / Intranet Development:  
    Work continues to progress the Web development project – the next round of testing (Beta Testing) will take place from 25-27 July. Testing groups have been identified including a dedicated accessibility group. 
    • All group members will attend remotely and will have 1 hour to review and test specific areas of the website. 
    • General Public group and Accessibility group will review the end-to-end user journey (Reviews).
    • Stakeholder group will review the ‘back end’ / CMS system in terms of the monitoring of forms submitted and understanding and testing this process.
    • Final testing report will be available by 4 August 2023. Any actions identified will be reviewed and implemented.
    • Web Test page shared to department Heads to review ahead of testing commencing on 25 July.
    • Training – staff from Reviews, Admin, HR and Information Governance to receive training on 16 August.
    • Newsroom – Comms team continue to liaise with supplier to ensure a seamless transition of data to new website.

Policy Updates:  
•    Media Policy – ready for publication.  
•    Records Management - web retention timescales to be included in policy. 
•    Publications Policy – RB undertaking final review prior to submitting to August 2023 SMT for approval.

PSD Engagement Event: 
•    RB liaising with Inspector Gilmour to finalise details for this event.  
Further update will be provided when available. 
Members noted the update provided.

PC asked RB to prepare a report for, and to attend, the autumn Audit & Accountability Committee to provide members with an update and demonstration of the PIRC Website.

AP3: RB to prepare a report for, and to attend, the autumn Audit & Accountability Committee to provide members with an update and a demonstration of the PIRC Website.

PC asked that Brian Thomas (Crime and Performance Analyst) is included in all training in relation to the PIRC website and any Media overview work being considered as this will link with the review of Data Products he has been tasked to produce.

5. Policy Documents – Amendments and Updates

SS provided a brief summary of the amendments made to the following policies (circulated in advance).

Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Leave 
SS advised of minor, non-legislative amendments made to the policy i.e. clearer directions for staff utilising the policy and updates to job titles etc.

Members approved the policy.

6. Finance

Management Accounts to end June 2023 (Q1) 
SS advised that due to a period of staff leave, Management Accounts were not available at this time but would be circulated on Wednesday 19 July 2023.

SS provided a verbal update to members on a range of ongoing work, drawing attention to the following areas.

  • LD currently working on Forecast Report for SG – SG are aware that ABR / SBR will be required for accommodation costs, DSSS testing and legal fees. This will be included in the forecast report.
  • Underspend in staffing costs due to timing of staff recruitment – note that pay negotiations are underway and this may have an impact here.
  • Overspend in Accommodation costs due to new lease 
  • Capital Spends approved during 2022/2023 but spent in 2023/2024, may be reimbursed. Further discussions to follow

Members noted the update provided.

Update: 19/7/2023  
Management Accounts shared with members via email.

  • Grant in Aid cash drawn down is £93k more than initial budget due to accommodation and legal costs. 
  • PIRC is due credits for accommodation invoices due to a delay in occupying the new area of Hamilton House.
  • Staff costs £76k under spent due to vacancies and recruitment process. 
  • Legal costs budget has been increased for 2023/2024 by £229k to provide for the Public Inquiry. 
  • YTD overall overspend position of £55k is temporary due to budget phasing for IT Support costs and credits due in July relating to accommodation.
  • PIRC have requested funding to pay for capital spend agreed in 2022/23, however spent in 2023/24 due to delay in gaining entry to building.

Note Subject to agreement by The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) Senior Management Team (SMT) at agenda item 1 above, items of business will be considered in private for the reasons noted below: Circumstances in which meetings may be held in private include where:

  • information relating to identified or identifiable individuals (including members of staff) could be disclosed where there is a risk of a breach of data protection legislation.
  • public discussion of the information may prejudice any police operation or the prosecution of offenders. • disclosure of information could prejudice national security.
  • matters to be discussed are the subject of legal proceedings (including misconduct or disciplinary proceedings) or where the information to be discussed consists of or includes legal advice provided to the PIRC or to a third party.
  • an obligation of confidentiality exists in respect of the information to be discussed. • confidential commercial or financial information not already in the public domain could be disclosed.
  • proposals for significant organisational change, significant changes to the terms and conditions of staff or other sensitive matters are being considered.
  • discussion in public would be likely to inhibit the free and frank provision of advice or the free and frank exchange of views for the purpose of deliberation.
  • other, exceptional circumstances exist that would justify considering the matter in private, such circumstances to be agreed by the Senior Management Team and included in the minute of the meeting
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