The Chair of the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), Andrew Flanagan, has announced his intention to stand down from his role.
Citing recent media and Parliamentary attention on his disagreement with a former board member and perceptions around SPA transparency, Mr Flanagan has concluded that debate on these issues risks distracting policing from important work underway on strategy and finance and that it is in the best interests of policing in Scotland that he stand down.
In his resignation letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Mr Flanagan has offered to continue in post until a successor is appointed by Scottish Ministers, and to ensure there is no delay in implementing the Policing 2026 strategy and underpinning financial deficit reduction plans.
Mr Flanagan said:
“Recent events have focussed on my disagreement with a board member and perceptions of a wider lack of transparency in the SPA. I have apologised to the former board member and put in place changes to the governance processes of the SPA. There are many serious challenges faced by policing in Scotland, but the continued media and Parliamentary debate on these issues risks coming a prolonged distraction.
“With a strategic direction for the service well in train and the right mix of leadership in Police Scotland to deliver it, I do not wish the ongoing debate to get in the way as we move into the implementation phase. I have therefore taken the decision that it would be in the best interests of policing if I were to step down from my role as Chair of the SPA.
“The next few months will involve an intensive period of work to develop implementation plans and effective governance structures to manage and oversee the transformation programme. To avoid any hiatus or delay, I have indicated to the Cabinet Secretary that I would be willing to stay on until he appoints a successor and to ensure an orderly handover.
“I take pride in being a part of this chapter of policing history in Scotland, and for the personal successes I have had since taking up the role in 2015 – in particular shaping a long-term strategy for Police Scotland, recruiting a new Chief Constable and senior leadership team, and setting a clear direction for bringing financial sustainability.
“As a result, I am confident that the single police service in Scotland now has a solid platform from which to build an even better service for the people of Scotland. I hope that is a position on which we can build both consensus and momentum.”
NOTE TO NEWS EDITORS
Mr Flanagan wrote to the tender his resignation to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice on 13 June 2017. The full text of his resignation letter is published on the SPA website.
Andrew Flanagan was appointed as the Chair of SPA in September 2015.