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Senior Management Team Meeting - 20 June 2023

18 Jul 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

  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)
Billy Little         Senior Investigator (BL)
Jacqueline Jeffrey   Senior Review Officer (JJ)
Laura Duguid           Finance Manager (LD)
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 Ilya Zharov, Head of Policy and Reviews and John McSporran, Head of Investigations.

2. 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.

Part 1 – for Publication

3. Minutes and Action Log from previous meeting

Draft Minutes

SMT approved the minutes of the May 2023 meeting.

Action Log


As a result of legislation contained within the Police (Ethics, Conduct and Scrutiny) (Scotland) Bill, as introduced on 6 June 2023, which provides for ‘regulations to require or authorise the provisions of information and documents to the PIRC by giving the PIRC access to an electronic database on which they are stored” – this is no longer a relevant action for SMT to consider.

JJ provided an update in relation to work ongoing between PIRC and FiS in relation to testing and amendments required to Centurion generated reports. Further update will be provided when available.

Members noted the update provided.

4. 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 due to be heard 27-29 June 2023 (submissions will focus on the events leading up to and including the death of Sheku Bayoh and the cause of death). MM advised that PIRC will not be making any oral submissions at this hearing.
Police (Ethics, Conduct and Scrutiny) (Scotland) Bill. MM advised she and SC are assessing what implications the new legislation has for PIRC and this will be communicated wider in due course.
Civil Case – appeal hearing scheduled for 16-17 August 2023.
Stakeholder Engagements in late May / early June 2023.
Members noted the update provided.

5. 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 – DESIGN stage nearing completion.

  • First round DSSS assessment complete – 6 recommendations identified currently being actioned with an estimated completion date end of June 2023.

  • Beta testing brief approved. 2 groups (internal and external user groups to be identified). External group to be selected by Web agency with testing being carried out in July 2023.

  • Testing will initially focus on user journey through CHR process and then look to user testing of wider site.

  • HTML solution for publications section identified and agreed (accessible PDFs).

  • Content draft almost complete and will be shared by end of June 2023.

  • Comms staff have undertaken initial Content Management training.

  • Policy Updates: Information forwarded to Information Officer in relation to retention timescales for Records Management Policy, Publications Policy forwarded to PC for review, Social Media Policy to be reviewed in relation to SG guidance on use of TikTok (short-form video sharing app).

  • Corporate Publications: Strategic Plan – final amendments being made to design version. Publication date of end June 2023.

  • Internal Comms: various staff messages issued

  • Members noted the update provided.

Policy Documents – Amendments and Updates

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

Media Policy

MM advised that, section 3 iii – Family liaison support - bullet point 2; Asking family whether they are happy for the ID of the person to be released – be reviewed.

Following brief discussion, it was agreed to remove this sentence.

Members approved the policy, subject to the above amendment.

MM asked that RB provide a ‘Media Enquiry aide memoire’ for both Police and Crown referred investigations that provide recommended media enquiry responses.

Following discussion, it was agreed that this document would be held within the Publications Policy.

AP2 - Provide a Media Enquiry aide memoire for both Police and Crown referred investigations that provide recommended media enquiry responses.

Learning and Development Policy

Members noted the amendments made to the previous version and approved the policy.

SS advised that whilst MS Teams has the functionality for users to record their Teams meetings and group calls (to capture audio, video and screen sharing activity), the current Scottish Government (SG) guidelines stipulate that MS Teams are not to be recorded.

SS advised that PIRC are in the process of developing an MS Teams Recording Policy which will be circulated for approval at a future meeting.

Risk Management Policy

Members noted the amendment to the previous version and approved the policy.

Records Management Policy

PC asked that section 3C (Retention Periods: Investigations – Conduct Investigations) is amended to note that if an appeal is intimated, that material is retained for 3-years.

Members approved the policy, subject to the above amendment.

SC questioned, in relation to the retention period of hard copy papers, including productions, in Criminal inquiries where the officer is prosecuted by summary proceedings, how PIRC will be notified of conclusion of criminal proceedings. MM advised that this had been discussed at the Information Governance Group meeting held on 9 June 2023, where the Head of Investigations and DSI Bonner advised, that due to the small numbers involved,  the investigating officer would be required check and advise when criminal proceedings had concluded.  

RB advised that completed, submitted or partially completed CHR forms will be automatically deleted from the website server after 12-months and asked that these are added to appendix 2.

PC advised that Head of Investigations was drafting additional retention policy detail in relation to Biometric Data held by PIRC. Once approved, this will be added to the Record Management Policy.

Fire Wardens Checklists

From 1 July 2023 Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) will stop attending automatic fire alarms (AFA) call outs to commercial business and workplace premises, such as factories, offices, shops and leisure facilities – unless a fire has been confirmed by a designated keyholder / landlord.

Further discussions are to be held with site landlord and other tenants to agree a coordinated approach for all building users which will be fedback to the SMT for further consideration.

NB: Current fire safety procedures remain valid.

SS to liaise with RB to issue staff message advising of change to process as of 1 July 2023.

Members noted the update provided.

6. Finance

Management Accounts to end May 2023

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

Finance Officer commenced post on 12 June 2023.
To date, £1.1m drawn down again budget of £950k (approx. £110k over budget). Overspend was due to Legal invoice in relation to Public Inquiry and Accommodation costs. LD advised that approx. £40k will be reimbursed, reducing overspend against budget.
Management Accounts will be circulated when available.
Audit work continues.
SS advised that she had received a response from SG in relation to the Accountable Officer template document submitted in September 2022. The response confirmed that costs associated with website DSSS testing will be reimbursed to PIRC (approx. £40K). Additionally, SS advised that it may be possible for PIRC to reclaim supplementary costs associated with the accommodation work within Hamilton House (approx. £42k).

Additionally, SS advised that PIRC is to receive a credit for rent paid on Bothwell House offices (backdated from 2021). SS has requested that this credit be used to offset overspend against the Bothwell House accommodation project.

SS will provide further update to members when available.

Members noted the update provided.

7. Any other business

SS advised that Prospect have balloted members to gauge appetite for a formal ballot relating to strike action. Further update will be provided when available.

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