Culture and behaviours in the Scottish Government: progress report

Implementation plan progress 2021 and the continuous improvement programme.

Continuous improvement programme

The updated procedure will be seen within the context of a wider programme of continuous improvement to improve our culture of openness and inclusion. This programme (the initial actions of which are set out overleaf) sets out the actions we have completed in the implementation plan and those that lead from it in 2022.

Continuous Improvement Programme progress

Improving the organisation's and Parliament's confidence in our ongoing  work to improve our culture of openness and inclusion. 

What we've done (June - Dec 2021)

We have continued to work with recognised trade unions to ensure issues can be raised and responded to appropriately in the interim.

An updated Ministerial induction programme has been designed to support the incoming administration. One of the key aims of the programme is to help Ministers to work effectively with the civil service in a culture of mutual support and respect.

We continue to work in partnership with recognised trade unions on taking forward the implementation plan.

We have developed an updated procedure and guidance material for handling formal complaints about Ministers which will include: 

  • a single process for both bullying and harassment
  • introduction of external, independent investigation and adjudication
  • separation of roles
  • benchmarking
  • time limits
  • initial assessment
  • criminality and police involvement
  • support for all parties including Ministers
  • further consideration to referencing alternative resolution options (including informal routes and mediation)
  • censure with consent

We have created an external advisory group for the oversight of the implementation plan and a staff engagement plan on an updated procedure.

We are bringing together key propriety and ethics functions into DG: Corporate

We have set out the specific actions we will take to implement our information management review and improve the quality of our digital storage and retrieval processes

We have aligned this with our wider culture and behaviour initiatives, including organisational vision and values, with engagement with staff to:

  • build consensus on values
  • encourage staff to speak up
  • pay attention to local cultures, early intervention and local support

We have developed and implemented governance structures including reviewing risk management procedures.

We have updated the Scottish Parliament on progress

We have launched the updated policy for handling formal complaints about Ministers

To be achieved by March 2022

  • hold briefings for Ministers on the updated procedure
  • refresh the grievance policy and best practice communications
  • independent advisers invited to update the Ministerial Code
  • programme measures of success ready to discuss with recognised trade unions and stakeholders

To be achieved by June 2022

  • build complaint investigation capability to ensure the confidence of those participating
  • hold staff training on grievance policy and best practice refresh
  • implement measures of success 
  • issue communications on updated procedure and culture and behaviours

To be achieved by December 2022

  • alignment to wider culture and  behaviour initiatives, including organisational vision and values
  • continue to implement information management review and improve quality of digital storage and retrieval processes
  • continue proactive outreach work in Scottish Goverment to inform risk assurance and cultural improvement
  • review the processes including propriety and ethics
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