John Foley, Chief Executive of the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) said:
“SPA welcomes the public statement by Police Scotland that it did not adhere to guidelines covering access to communications data in a recent investigation. The SPA has today written to Police Scotland to seek their formal assurance that action has already been taken to ensure there is no re-occurrence of these issues. I understand that IOCCO will follow these matters up at its next inspection of Police Scotland’s arrangements.
“SPA considers that there are wider considerations raised by this case that would warrant further independent assurance work. That is why we have requested that HMICS carry out an in depth assurance review of the effectiveness and efficiency of Police Scotland’s counter corruption practices.
“SPA would anticipate this review providing an independent view of the operations, systems and procedures in place with the objective of providing assurance against best practice, and informing any recommendations for improvement. SPA considers that such a review will be timely in ensuring that going forward we have the most effective approach possible to dealing with counter corruption issues within Police Scotland.
“It will be for HMICS to agree the detailed terms of reference however SPA would look for that to include operational effectiveness and efficiency, the independence of the internal investigation function, its governance and accountability, and training and guidance for officers and staff.
“Given the considerable public interest in this issue, we hope that the review can be progressed in order for a final report to be made available in the spring of 2016.”