The Scottish Police Authority (SPA) has published its annual report and accounts for the 2017-18 financial year.
The report sets out key developments in the performance of the Authority and in the operation of Police Scotland and details how £1.1 billion of public funds has been utilised to deliver policing to communities across Scotland.
In its independent report, Audit Scotland has highlighted a number of important areas of improvement in financial and organisational performance including:
• a year-end resource overspend outturn of £34.3m, reduced from £47.2m deficit included in the approved 2017/18 budget
• robust budget monitoring arrangements now in place
• new leadership teams in now in place in both Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority
• the Authority now conducts its business in an open and transparent manner
Audit Scotland has also identified areas for attention including:
• further improvements in the overall control environment
• delays in the development of a robust workforce strategy
• the need for a well-developed performance management framework
• the need for robust monitoring of the use of contracts for consultancy and external professional support to ensure value for money and the achievement of strategic objectives
Susan Deacon, Chair of the Scottish Police Authority, said:
“A huge amount of work has gone in to improving the financial and organisational performance of the Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland – and that work continues. This year’s annual report and accounts, and Audit Scotland’s independent report, demonstrate that substantive improvements have been made. I am particularly pleased that Audit Scotland has noted that the Authority now conducts its business in an open and transparent manner. This was, quite rightly, an area of significant critical comment in the past.
“I do not underestimate the scale of the challenge which the Authority and Police Scotland still face, and both organisations are continuing to work through major programmes of transformation and change, not least to respond to increased demand and changing circumstances within the context of continuing pressures on the public purse.
“I am confident, however, that we are now putting in place the people and the practices needed to build a police service which is fit for purpose, fit for the future and which commands high levels of public confidence and trust.
“I am determined to ensure that we work tirelessly to drive continuous improvement and so ensure that the people of Scotland receive the very highest possible standards of policing within available resource and that the governance and oversight of this service is robust and effective.”
The Scottish Police Authority’s Annual Report and Accounts 2017/18 has today been laid before the Scottish Parliament and is available to view at the following link: SPA Annual Report and Accounts 2017-18
The 2017/18 Accounts cover the 12 month period to March 2018.
The Scottish Police Authority has a statutory responsibility, under the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012, to maintain, improve and review policing. The Authority is also responsible for the delivery of Forensic Services.
The Authority has primary responsibility for ensuring the proper financial stewardship of a budget in excess of £1.1 billion and is responsible for establishing effective arrangements for governance that enables the successful delivery of its objectives.
The Authority also has a statutory responsibility to hold the Chief Constable to account for the policing of Scotland.
Police Scotland is the second largest police force in the UK and employs more than 22000 police officers and staff.
Kenneth Hogg served as Interim Chief Officer of the SPA from November 2017 to November 2018. Hugh Grover took up the position of SPA Chief Executive, and Accountable Officer for the SPA budget, on 5 November 2018.
Susan Deacon was appointed Chair of the SPA in December 2017.
Iain Livingstone was appointed as Chief Constable of Police Scotland in August 2018.
The Scottish Police Authority has also today laid before the Scottish Parliament its Annual Review of Policing and is available to view from the following link: SPA Annual Review of Policing 2017-18