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Publication - FOI / EIR Release

Information with regards Justice Department's statutory obligations: FOI release

Published: 14 Aug 2017

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/17/00655
Date received: 20 March 2017 (and 31 July 2017)
Date responded: 11 August 2017

Information requested

  • All information with regards the Justice Department's statutory obligations;

  • The Justice Department's annual report and accounts for 2015-2016

  • All information with regards the Justice Department's statutory obligation to the SCCRC, in particular with regards the Department's role in the fair running of the SCCRC;

  • Whether there are any plans to replace the current Chief Executive of the SCCRC;

  • A copy of all costs in running prisons in Scotland in 2015-16; and

  • All information with regards MAPPA.

Response

As I explained in my letter of 24 March 2017, request for "all and any information with regards MAPPA" and "all information with regards the Justice Department's statutory obligations" are not sufficiently specific to enable us to identify what information you are seeking. In your letter of 31 July, you asked us to provide such information as can be provided in relation to your request, bearing in mind that some parts of the request were not sufficiently specific. I am responding to your request on this basis.

Information relating to the Justice Department

With regards your request for all information concerning the Justice Department's statutory obligations and the Justice Department's annual report and accounts for 2015-16, as I explained in my earlier letter, there is not a 'Justice Department' within the Scottish Government. Policy responsibility for matters relating to the justice system in the Scottish Government sits in the Directorate General for Education, Communities and Justice. The majority of justice-related issues are dealt with by the Directorate for Justice and the Directorate for Safer Communities (though some issues relating to youth justice, for example, are the responsibility of the Directorate for Children and Families). I have enclosed a copy of the Directorate General's structure for your information.

These Directorates do not produce their own annual accounts. The Scottish Government's consolidated accounts for 2015-16, which include information about spending in the justice portfolio, are available to be viewed at http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/09/8846.

Neither the Justice Directorate nor the Safer Communities Directorate produce annual reports.

You asked for information concerning the Justice Department's statutory obligations. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. The reasons why we don't have the information are explained in the Annex to this letter.

Information relating to the SCCRC

The Scottish Government's statutory obligations and the responsibilities the Scottish Government has in relation to the running of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) are as set out in Part XA of and Schedule 9A to the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 (and in particular, paragraphs 1, 3(1), 4, 8(3), 9(3A) and 11 of Schedule 9A). This can be viewed at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1995/46/contents References in the legislation to the 'Secretary of State' should be read as referring to the Scottish Ministers

You ask if the Scottish Government has any plans to replace the current Chief Executive of the SCCRC. The SCCRC is operationally independent of the Scottish Government and decisions relating to the employment of the Chief Executive and other staff are a matter for the board of the SCCRC.

Information relating to the cost of prisons

You ask for information concerning the total cost of running prisons in Scotland in 2015-16. As set out in the Scottish Government's consolidated accounts, gross expenditure on the Scottish Prison Service in 2015/16 was £272m. More information about the cost of the Scottish Prison Service is contained in their Annual Report and Accounts, which is published at http://www.sps.gov.uk/Corporate/Publications/Publication-4206.aspx

Information relating to MAPPA

You also ask for all information concerning Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA). As I explained in my earlier letter, this is not sufficiently specific to enable us to identify what information you are seeking, but I hope that the following is helpful to you:

The following national guidance underpins the operation of Scotland's Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA). As you will see under the MAPPA the police, local authorities and Scottish Prison Service are required to jointly establish arrangements for the assessment and management of risks posed by sex offenders subject to the sex offender notification requirements: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/03/6905/0

The Scottish Government also publishes an annual national overview report on MAPPA in Scotland: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/10/6975/0

The following link also takes you to the Scottish Government's National Accommodation Strategy for Sex Offenders or NASSO for short. The NASSO sets out the arrangements for housing offenders subject to the sex offender notification requirements: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2012/02/7066/0

Reasons for not providing information

The Scottish Government does not have the information.

The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for concerning the statutory obligations of the Justice Department. As noted previously, there is no Justice Department within the Scottish Government and policy concerning justice-related matters falls principally to the Justice Directorate and the Safer Communities Directorate.

More generally, any statutory obligations will typically fall to the Scottish Ministers collectively, as opposed to any specific Minister, Department or Directorate within the Scottish Government. There is no central record of all the statutory obligations contained in legislation which fall on the Scottish Ministers. However, primary and secondary legislation, including that which creates such obligations, is available on the site www.legislation.gov.uk.

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

Published:
14 Aug 2017
Information with regards Justice Department's statutory obligations: FOI release