Information

Governance concerns in Lanarkshire region: FOI release

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


Information requested

  • Given the expected role of the Scottish Government in ensuring good governance across the region, what action has the Scottish Government taken to ensure that New College Lanarkshire has fulfilled all the requirements of it as a regional body, including full compliance with its Financial Memoranda with the Scottish Funding Council and with South Lanarkshire College?
     
  • The New College Lanarkshire risk register at November 2021, flags as ‘green’ its approach to ‘establishing and implementing an effective regional governance model’. Given the action taken by the SLC Board in November, with the support of the NCL Board, what action has the Scottish Government taken to ensure that risk management approaches within the Lanarkshire region are accurate, fully reflect all risks faced by each of the two colleges in the region, and fully support the effective governance oversight of both colleges and the wider region? The significant negative publicity about the actions taken by the SLC Board have brought both colleges into disrepute, and this would appear not to have been appropriately risk assessed by either college, which would be an indicator of governance failings.
     
  • The minute of the Board meeting of 4 October 2021 states that the SLC Board had cancelled its ARC and HR committee meetings in the autumn cycle; and that there was no report from the SLC ARC, HRC nor from the Board. Was the Scottish Government aware of this precarious governance position at SLC and, if so, what action did the Scottish Government take in response to this breach of good governance?
     
  • The above minutes state that the SLC Audit and Risk Committee had no Chair. Was the Scottish Government aware of this precarious governance position at SLC and, if so, what action did the Scottish Government take in response to this governance risk to the college?
     
  • The minutes also state that the regional Chair wrote to the SLC Chair requesting a recovery plan by end October 2021. Was the Scottish Government aware of this request and, if so, what action did the Scottish Government take to assure itself that appropriate steps were being taken by the SLC Board and the Regional Board to restore good governance to South Lanarkshire College?

Response

Questions 1
No action has been taken directly by the Scottish Government. It is the role of the Scottish Funding Council to investigate any potential issues around governance in Scotland’s Colleges.

Question 2
No action has been taken by the Scottish Government. The Scottish Funding Council is the organisation responsible for investigating any potential issues around governance and it continues to work closely with the Regional Strategic Body to ensure arrangements are in place to secure good governance, sound leadership and positive outcomes for students.

Question 3
The Scottish Government is aware of the situation at South Lanarkshire College, and the Scottish Funding Council is providing assurance to the Scottish Government that due process is being followed.

Question 4
The Scottish Government is aware of the situation at South Lanarkshire College, however it has taken no direct action. It is the role of the Scottish Funding Council to investigated any potential issues around governance in Scotland’s Colleges.

Question 5
No, we have found no evidence that the Scottish Government was aware of the request. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

It is the role of the Scottish Funding Council to investigated any potential issues around governance in Scotland’s Colleges.

You may however wish to contact the Scottish Funding Council at enquiries@sfc.ac.uk or 0131 313 6500 who may be able to help you further.

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 Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

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