Executive Board minutes: June 2017

Minutes from the 6 June 2017 meeting of the Executive Board, which is chaired by the Permanent Secretary.

Attendees and apologies


  • Leslie Evans, Permanent Secretary (Chair)
  • Sarah Davidson, DG Communities
  • Liz Ditchburn (dialled in), DG Economy
  • Paul Gray, DG Health and Social Care
  • Paul Johnston, DG Learning and Justice
  • Alyson Stafford, DG Finance
  • Ken Thomson (dialled in), DG Strategy and Operations
  • Gordon Wales, Acting DG Finance
  • Janet Hamblin, Non-Executive Director
  • Ronnie Hinds, Non-Executive Director
  • Linda McKay, Non-Executive Director

Also in Attendance

  • Barbara Allison, Director for Communications and Ministerial Support
  • Nicky Richards, Director of People
  • Julie Wilson, Strategic Analytical Policy
  • Rebecca Diggle, ET Business Hub
  • Sean Doohan, ET Support Division
  • Diane Morrison, ET Support Division



Items and actions

Item 1: Welcome, Introductions, Apologies and Declarations of Interest

1. The Chair welcomed everyone to the Executive Board (EB) meeting. There were no declarations of interest.

Item 2: Minutes and Actions from the previous meeting held on 2 May 2017

2. The minutes and actions from the previous meeting 2 May 2017 were noted and agreed without comment.

Item 3: Organisational Efficiency

Balanced Scorecard

3. Julie Wilson provided an update, highlighting where data had been refreshed or newly included since the previous iteration.

4. EB commented that the scorecard provided a consistent evidence base across directorates which would support DG Assurance activity and decision-making at a local and organisational level. In particular, the value of presenting trend information and, where appropriate, targets was recognised as a means to both better focus scrutiny and support, and identify areas of good practice where lessons could be shared. The Board proposed that further consideration be given to identify those strands of information that could best support Corporate Board activity agreeing that a combination of a standard data set and exception based reporting was appropriate.

(Action: ET Secretariat/ People Directorate)

5. The Board considered the reporting against the delivery of Programme for Government (PfG) commitments noting that these alone do not capture the scale and scope of work being undertaken by the organisation and that this should be recognised in resource and performance discussions. Lastly, the EB discussed the accessibility of the information in the scorecard and how it could complement existing performance reporting. Acting DG Finance agreed to consider as part of wider performance reporting discussions and provide advice to the Board.

(Action: Acting DG Finance)

Governance Review

6. Rebecca Diggle gave an overview of the review being led by the Director for Internal Audit and the Crown Agent, noting that the review will focus on how the revised corporate governance arrangements are operating six months after their implementation. It is expected that the review will conclude in August with a report due at EB in September.

(Action: DG Communities)

Item 4: Financial Stewardship and Risk


7. The Acting DG Finance updated EB on the latest forecast outturn which indicated that all targets for the 2016/17 budget were on track to be met. He explained work was underway to prepare accompanying public documents and that the Scottish Government has been seeking views from Audit Scotland to help develop those publications.


8. Acting DG Finance updated EB on the work taking place to develop the organisation’s understanding of the risk landscape and that pertaining to Corporate Risk Management, which is being managed as part of the Risk Improvement Project that focusses on improving risk description and control assurance. He advised that the project should help to better identify successful mitigation activity and provide further guidance on escalation procedures. The Board welcomed the proposed changes and noted that embedding the revised processes into the DG Assurance framework would be key to success. It was agreed that all Non-Executive Directors would be provided with a full project update and further consideration should be given to how the Corporate Risk Register is handled at the Scottish Government Assurance and Audit Committee.

(Action: ET Secretariat)

9. EB received assurances relating to organisational preparedness following the recent terrorist attacks. Information on this will be brought back to EB after the summer.

(Action: ET Secretariat)

10. Acting DG Finance provided an update on the work the organisation is undertaking in relation to current financial challenges and economic performance. The Board noted the on-going importance of this work and requested that this should become a standing item.

(Action: DG Economy/ Acting DG Finance)

Item 5: Development of People and Capability

Resourcing / Recruitment

11. The Director for People provided an update, noting that changes in organisational responsibility has corresponded with different resourcing needs, including an increased need to consider the recruitment of specialists. People Directorate were reviewing external recruitment processes to ensure a strategic approach was taken that would support the objectives of the People Strategy.

SG2020 Organisational Design

12. DG Communities updated the Board on the progress made in relation to the proposed amendments to Director General responsibilities, which support the delivery of SG2020 and ministerial commitments. It is expected that the final proposals will be communicated to the organisation by the end of June and it was agreed that an update would be brought back to EB.

(Action: DG Communities)

Item 6: Results and Outcomes

13. The Acting DG Finance informed EB that the Performance and Priorities Board was due to meet on 7 June, where it would focus on the Programme for Government, the National performance Framework and Inclusive Growth. Acting DG Finance agreed to provide a synopsis of that meeting to the EB as part of the regular Corporate Board reports.

(Action: Acting DG Finance)


14. There were no items for discussion.


Email: ceu@gov.scot

Phone: 0300 244 4000

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

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