Risk Management Authority required to approve a Risk Management Plan: FOI release

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

Information requested

1. Information which your department uses when dealing and processing requests relating to the termination or changing of life licence.

2. If there is no input from the Justice Department then why can the supervising social Worker not submit the request directly to the Parole Board?

3. The determination of life licence conditions is solely a matter for the Parole Board. The content and implementation of a Risk Management Plan is part of the function of the Risk Management Authority and it rests with them alone. Please provide all the information the Justice department holds relating to the requirement that an OLR life licence cannot be terminated or amended due to the requirement that the Risk Management Authority is required to approve a Risk Management Plan. This should not be in the form of an opinion expressed by a Scottish Government official.


In response to your questions above I would advise that the process for referring a case to the Parole Board is set out in legislation in the Prisoners and Criminal Proceedings (Scotland) Act 1993 at section 2(5) – this Act is available online at: Prisoners and Criminal Proceedings (Scotland) Act 1993 (legislation.gov.uk). Further legislative provision is contained within the Parole Board (Scotland) Rules 2001 at rule 4 – the rules are also available online at The Parole Board (Scotland) Rules 2001 (legislation.gov.uk). You will note that the referral must come from the Scottish Ministers. There is nothing further I can usefully add to the previous reply you received in this regard as the legislation is the basis used to refer a case to the Parole Board.

The requirement for a Risk Management Plan is set out in legislation in the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003 at section 1(210F) – this legislation is available online at: Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003 (legislation.gov.uk). The OLR is a true lifelong sentence, meaning that all individuals sentenced to an OLR will be the subject of a Risk Management Plan (RMP) for the rest of their life. The RMA approves the RMP prepared by the Lead Authority during the nine months following the imposition of an OLR. Thereafter the RMA will receive and review annual reports on the implementation of approved RMPs for the duration of the sentence. Therefore, the supervision element of the sentence is always required in order to prepare the RMP.

The Parole Board for Scotland, is a Tribunal Non-departmental Public Body whose members are appointed by the Scottish Ministers. The Board has a number of statutory functions but operate independently from the Scottish Ministers. Directions made to the Scottish Ministers by the Board about changes to a person’s licence conditions, potential recall of an individual on licence conditions and re-release are binding and the Scottish Ministers are unable to intervene in the Board's decisions. The Prisoners and Criminal Proceedings (Scotland) Act 1993 section 12(3)(a) states: “The Scottish Ministers may under subsection (1) above include on release and from time to time insert, vary or cancel a condition in a licence granted under this part of this Act; but—
(a) in the case of a long-term or life prisoner released by the Scottish Ministers under subsection (1) of section 3 of this Act without consulting the Parole Board, no licence condition shall be inserted, varied or cancelled subsequent to the release except in accordance with the recommendations of the Parole Board.”

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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.


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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