6. Strategic Priority 5 – Effective Governance and Performance
SFRS should ensure it has an effective approach to performance management to support robust scrutiny of the Service at national and local levels. This approach should be regularly reviewed and evaluated in pursuit of continuous improvement. SFRS should also collect, produce and analyse data and other intelligence to inform actions to promote the safety and well-being of communities, support operational efficiency and performance improvements (including its partnership contributions) and enable effective public reporting of performance.
Effective governance, strong accountability and resilient performance are at the heart of good public services. SFRS should contribute to Scotland's National Outcomes.
SFRS must ensure that it meets the requirements of its governance and accountability arrangements as set out in the agreed Scottish Government and SFRS Governance and Accountability Framework. It is also essential that SFRS effectively monitors and evaluates its performance in delivering the strategic priorities set out in this document. A key factor in achieving that delivery will be continued investment in maintaining the health, safety and well-being and improving the capabilities, capacity and performance of its workforce.
SFRS should ensure it has an effective approach to performance management to support robust scrutiny of the Service at national and local levels. This approach should be regularly reviewed and evaluated in pursuit of continuous improvement. SFRS should also collect, produce and analyse data and other intelligence to promote the safety and well-being of communities, support operational efficiency and performance improvements (including its partnership contributions) and enable effective public reporting of performance.
Good service performance and effective accountability, both nationally and locally, is reliant on the ability to demonstrate the delivery of continuous improvement through comprehensive, timely performance reporting arrangements and a robust approach to analysis and evaluation. SFRS should continue to develop its performance systems to ensure the data collecting is still the most appropriate and it should report publicly on its key indicators on a regular basis. Reports should be open and transparent, and provide the Scottish Government and key stakeholders with accurate, timely and consistent data and information, from which they can assess whether SFRS's management arrangements are effective in ensuring it is performing well, providing value for money and delivering all across Scotland.
As set out in the Modernisation and Innovation section, all proposed changes and improvements to the service SFRS provides should be made on the basis of sound evidence. SFRS performance management systems should therefore play a critical role in providing that evidence and in turn driving improvement across the organisation.
SFRS should continue to develop methodologies and systems to collect, collate and analyse data in order to understand future trends and enable resources to be targeted where they are needed most and where they can add the greatest value. SFRS should ensure that it makes appropriate use of comparable data to benchmark its performance.
SFRS must, in discussion with the Scottish Government, specify appropriate performance measures to support its Strategic Plan, for the delivery of outcomes relating to the strategic priorities and objectives set out in this Framework.
SFRS should base its Annual Performance Review report on the priorities set out in this Framework in addition to the evidence obtained through its performance management systems. In order to ensure its activity is making a positive impact on outcomes for communities, SFRS should also monitor and report on its performance over a 3-5 year period.
SFRS should continue to ensure it is accountable to the communities it serves through its network of Local Senior Officers, local scrutiny committees and the involvement of Local Authority elected officials.
The 2005 Act (as amended by the 2012 Act) sets out the duties of SFRS in securing Best Value for the people of Scotland. The delivery of an effective and efficient service is set within the context of establishing appropriate governance structures by which the organisation is directed and controlled to achieve objectives. SFRS's 'Governance and Accountability Framework', sets out the governance structures within which SFRS will operate and defines the key roles and responsibilities for SFRS and the Scottish Government. As set out in the Governance and Accountability Framework, SFRS should follow the guidance set out in the Scottish Public Finance Manual and be able to demonstrate fulfilment of its Best Value duty to secure continuous improvement in the performance of the organisation's functions.
To respond effectively to the changing public sector environment in Scotland and to meet the expectations set out in this Framework SFRS should maintain its strong commitment to strategic and financial planning to assure the long term sustainability of the functions it delivers. SFRS should clearly communicate to internal and external stakeholders the outcomes it is working towards, what the intended objectives and goals of those outcomes are, and how its resources will be used efficiently and effectively to achieve those outcomes.
SFRS's Role as a Public Body
SFRS must follow the expectations and requirements set out in the Scottish Government Public Bodies Guidance. As one of the larger public bodies in Scotland SFRS should be an exemplar organisation in terms of following good governance and assurance, board members' and staff codes of conduct, succession planning and strategic engagement with government, other bodies and the third sector.
The SFRS Board provides strategic leadership for SFRS, which includes ensuring the highest standards of governance are complied with; that SFRS complies with all Ministerial guidance, its agreed Framework documents (including this document) and legislation; and that prudent and effective controls are in place to enable risks to be assessed and managed. The Chief Officer with operational responsibility gives the Board assurance on delivering its stated outcomes and objectives, as set out in the Strategic Plan. The Board, as the legal entity of SFRS, gives further assurance to Scottish Ministers that its outcomes and objectives have been realised by the Service.
The SFRS Board has responsibility to take into account the local needs, including the views of Local Authorities when providing governance and oversight of the response the Service provides.
SFRS should ensure its Board meetings are accessible to the public across the whole of Scotland and are carried out in the spirit of openness, including the publication of Board papers and minutes of proceedings.
SFRS's planning should ensure clear alignment of priorities and objectives as a national organisation while being flexible enough to respond to differing local needs across Scotland. It is essential to recognise the changing risks and threats facing communities in terms of the demands of its operating environment. SFRS should ensure its employees fully understand their individual and collective contribution to the organisation's objectives and know what is expected of them as part of its planning and operational delivery processes.