Commenting in response to the publication today of the HMICS inspection of SPA openness and transparency, SPA Chair Andrew Flanagan said:
“Given that this is a report about openness and transparency, it is disappointing that it should be leaked to a media outlet and an interpretation placed upon it before the document as a whole is in the public domain. I hope the circumstances of that will be fully investigated by HMICS.
“SPA has already acknowledged recent mistakes made, has listened to the strengthened civic and public concerns around transparency, and responded accordingly.
“However, two charges that have been levelled at the SPA in recent months is that we were creating an organisation to keep secrets, and that we were inappropriately taking decisions behind closed doors which should have been made in public.
“It is notable that the HMICS inspection report contains no evidence or findings that would support either of those accusations.
“We also welcome that the report found no evidence of a ‘bullying culture’ within the SPA, and I hope that this finding is given as much prominence as the original allegation.
“The report contains a number of findings that were well-signposted in advance, and which the SPA have implemented or anticipated.
“The lead policy recommendation of the report around SPA reverting to holding its committee meeting in public was actioned by the Board on 25 May.
“Last week’s announcement by the Scottish Government of a joint review of the required executive structure and support for the Board, led by our Deputy Chair and a local authority Chief Executive, also addresses a material recommendation and is in train to report later in the autumn.
“While I accept that openness and transparency is an important aspect of the work of the SPA, I also welcome the acknowledgement by HMICS of positive progress in the governance of the SPA, our commitment to good governance, and a genuine commitment by SPA Board members to putting policing before personal interests.”
The full SPA Board will be considering this report within the agenda of its public meeting in Edinburgh tomorrow.
HMICS Inspection Report