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Senior Management Team Meeting - 19 September 2023

23 Oct 2023
  1. Welcome
  2. Minutes and Action Log from previous meeting
  3. Commissioner 
  4. Communications
  5. Training
  6. Finance
  7. Any other business

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) 
Ilya Zharov Head of Policy & Reviews (IZ) 
Keith Harrower Senior Investigator (KH) 
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 noted from Laura Duguid, Finance Manager (LD). 

Matters proposed to be considered in private 
SMT agreed to consider agenda items 8-15 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 August 2023 meeting. 

Action Log 
AP3 2023/24 - Ongoing 

AP4 2023/24 – Complete 
SS advised that she had received feedback received from managers who were able to participate in meetings. A draft Action Plan is being progressed and will be shared with SMT members when available. 
Members asked to approve the draft Action Plan and proposed timescales. 

Members noted the update provided.

3. Commissioner

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

Police (Ethics, Conduct and Scrutiny) (Scotland) Bill Team visit – 27 September 2023 
MM advised that members of the SG Bill team are scheduled to attend PIRC offices on Wednesday 27 September. The purpose of the meeting is to highlight to Bill Team members the statutory duties of PIRC and how these are achieved. 

IZ to attend Bill team meeting and to provide a brief overview of role of Reviews, interaction with Police Scotland, implementation of recommendations etc. PC noted that draft legislation was available online and should be reviewed prior to preparing any presentation. 

Additionally, MM advised members of the following. 
Disclosure of reports and information requests 
MM noted an increase in the number of requests for disclosure of PIRC reports and information requests from Police Scotland. This has resulted in a number of court issued Specification of Documentation requests being received. 

MM proposed that SC will lead a number of awareness sessions for DSI’s and Investigators to review

  • what is a Specification of Documentation
  • how to deal with a Specification of Documentation
  • what is captured within the Specification of Documentation
  • what is required in an inventory of files/documents held

As part of this review, there is a requirement for more robust records management procedures to ensure thorough ‘weeding’ of unnecessary/generic documentation held within electronic files, at the conclusion of an investigation. 

Further discussions will be held with the Bill team to consider amending the Bill to include that PIRC reports cannot be used/disclosed in other proceedings. 

MM will convene a meeting with SI’s, PC and SC to minimise and mitigate any risk to PIRC in relation to COPFS CAAPD and Death reports – possibly by adding a ‘confidential - non-disclosable’ section to reports. 

MM advised that PIRC have received an intimation of a claim for damages relating to an alleged data breach – SC will provide further update under agenda item 12. 

MM advised that work is underway to amend the content of the PIRC medical mandate form. 

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 area: 

Website/Intranet Development 
DSSS BETA Assessment has concluded – PASS achieved. 

Go Live will now be 27 September 2023. 

Comms will be issued to all staff and stakeholders to advise of Go Live date with some additional guidance provided to staff on use/features of new website. 

PSD Engagement Event 
Work continues to identify a mutually suitable date to host this event. 

Annual Report 
Initial discussions held with design agency, draft copy shared with designers to show structure and content. Design options will be shared with SMT when available. 

Learning Point 
Lynsay Cooper (LC) coordinating with SRO Ferguson and SI Casey for content for November publication. 

Members noted the update provided.

5. Training

Use of Gender Pronouns within Signature Block 
SS provided members with a summary the briefing paper (circulated in advance), submitted by the Equality and Diversity Group, proposing the voluntary inclusion of Gender Pronouns within PIRC email signature blocks. 

Members noted the content of the briefing paper and approved the proposal outlined by the Equality and Diversity Group. MM emphasised that the use of gender pronouns within email signature blocks is voluntary.   

SS advised that other PIRC policies i.e. Dignity at Work Policy, would be reviewed/amended to include use of preferred gender pronouns. 

RB to prepare and circulate a staff message noting the use of gender pronouns within PIRC email signature blocks.

6. Finance

Management Accounts 
SS provided a summary of the Management Accounts to end August 2023 (circulated in advance), drawing attention to the following areas.

  • Variance Full Year – Budget V Forecast column added to report
  • Underspend in staffing costs approx. £100k YTD – this position will change once any pay claim is settled.
  • Overspend in Running Costs however uplift to budget for additional costs anticipated in the Autumn Budget Revision (ABR)
  • Overspend in legal costs approx. £192k YTD - this has been highlighted to SG. LD and SC continue to review and provide update to SG in relation to Legal Costs anticipated to end 2024.
  • Establishment and Vacancy breakdown now added to report

Members noted the updates provided.

7. Any other business

Nil to note

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