6. Community justice planning, performance management and reporting - statutory guidance
6.1 The following Part 6 of this guidance relates to sections 19-23 of the Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 ("the Act"). This guidance is produced under S.24 of the Act which statutory partners must have regard to when exercising their functions under sections 19-23.
Community Justice Outcomes Improvement Plan [section 19 of the Act]
6.2 A Community Justice Outcomes Improvement Plan ("the plan") must be developed and published by the statutory partners to show how they intend to achieve the nationally determined outcomes ("common outcomes") for community justice.
6.3 The plan must use all the common outcomes laid down in the Outcomes, Performance and Improvement Framework for Community Justice (the " OPI framework").
6.4 Local statutory partners working in partnership will be required to report on progress towards achieving the common outcomes in the OPI framework, indicating whether progress is being achieved or how near the outcome is to being achieved. Depending on that assessment partners can determine whether the outcomes requires to be a priority for action in their plan. Once priority outcomes have been selected, partners should consult the National Strategy to help determine which improvement actions they will carry out to improve these outcomes, and which partners are best placed to carry out these actions - either individually or in partnership.
6.5 National indicators ("common indicators") to determine progress are provided in the OPI framework and these should be included in the plan. Where a common indicator is not used, partners must outline why.
6.6 Local statutory partners may also identify additional local outcomes and local indicators as part of the plan process to reflect agreed local priorities for community justice. They may also wish to consider whether they need to agree local arrangements to share any appropriate local data to ensure their plans are based on best available evidence.
6.7 The statutory partners must publish their plan in an accessible format that is publicly available to all interested parties. A copy of the plan for each local authority area and an associated Participation Statement (which can be part of the plan) must also be submitted to Community Justice Scotland on behalf of the statutory partners.
6.8 Governance and any other arrangements to support this collaborative working should be agreed by the statutory partners at a local level. It is likely that this may be as part of a Community Planning Partnership however other arrangements may be locally specified.
Joint responsibility and local accountability
6.9 At a local level, statutory partners should bear in mind that they are ultimately responsible to the communities they serve. Local authority elected members with their local democratic mandate therefore have a key role to play in the delivery of the new model.
6.10 The statutory partners must work together to prepare a plan for their local authority area. They will be jointly responsible for the plan's development and implementation.
6.11 The statutory partners' governance arrangements for the planning process are to be agreed and developed locally. Local statutory partners should bear in mind that they are not accountable to the national body Community Justice Scotland for their plans but to each other and ultimately to the local community for the achievement of outcomes. The relationship with Community Justice Scotland will primarily be one based on support and guidance. For further information on Community Justice Scotland see chapter 10.
6.12 The Act does not change the accountability arrangements for the named statutory partners. Statutory partners are accountable to their own individual governance bodies for oversight of the development and delivery of their joint community justice plans and through any additional governance arrangements they may have jointly developed locally for community justice planning purposes. They may also wish to specify in the plan how they will reach agreement on local priorities.
6.13 As well as accountability to each other within the locally agreed partnership arrangements which may include the local community planning partnership, partners are subject to other formal lines of accountability. These may include to their own organisation's board, Scottish Ministers, the Scottish Police Authority (in the case of Police Scotland), the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Board, or to the communities that elected them (in the case of local authorities).
6.14 The expectation is that those who hold public bodies to account, principally elected members and Scottish Government, would test partners on how they are working effectively in partnership to improve outcomes and reduce inequalities as part of how they do so. By the same token, organisations' boards, Scottish Ministers, elected Councils, the Scottish Police Authority and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Board would hold partners to account on these issues within the context of their regional or national remit and responsibilities. The partnership arrangement itself should make clear how it is using collective resources to improve local outcomes and reduce inequalities on its priority themes, as part of how it reports to its local communities.
Preparation of the plan [section 20 of the Act]
6.15 The statutory partners must work together to prepare a community justice outcomes improvement plan (the plan) for the local authority area. A range of non-statutory partners or their representatives should also be involved in this planning process, such as the third sector, community bodies, communities, victims and their families, the families of people with convictions, people with convictions themselves and any other relevant community bodies involved in community justice services as locally appropriate, as well as Community Justice Scotland. Third sector bodies involved in community justice are those who provide a general service relating to community justice or who represent or promote the interests of designated people as outlined in the Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 - see lists at chapter 2.
6.16 Further information is given in chapter 8 of this guidance in relation to engagement and consultation of the plan and also the revision of any plan.
What should be in the Community Justice Plan? [sections 19 and 20 of the Act]
6.17 A model plan template is included in Appendix F to assist the development of the plan.
6.18 The plan contents must include how partners will address each of the common outcomes in the OPI Framework for Community Justice (see chapter 5) and how these will be prioritised. It should also pay due regard to this guidance and the National Strategy for Community Justice. It should also refer to the relevant Local Outcomes Improvement Plan for the local authority area required under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, part 2 Community Planning. Partners should use the strategy to determine what improvement actions will help improve the community justice outcomes they have prioritised.
6.19 The plan must include all the common outcomes and relevant common indicators for community justice along with the improvement actions from the National Strategy for Community Justice that they intend to use. It should also include any additional appropriate local community justice outcomes and indicators arising from the Local Outcomes Improvement Plan. Any other local plans and associated outcomes and indicators which the statutory partners agree are relevant to achieve improved community justice outcomes may also be included in the plan.
6.20 During the development of the plan the statutory partners must engage with the local third sector bodies and community bodies involved in community justice locally. This will allow the third sector and community bodies to contribute to the plan's development as specified in the Act.
6.21 Statutory partners must also consult with Community Justice Scotland as well as any other local partners and stakeholders as appropriate. How this consultation takes place will be determined by the statutory partners and should be indicated in the plan. Further information on engagement and consultation is given in chapter 8 of this guidance.
Participation Statement [section 21 of the Act]
6.22 Section 21 of the Act requires that a Participation Statement ("the statement") be prepared by the statutory partners. The statement must set out the action taken by the statutory partners to achieve the participation of third sector bodies and community bodies involved in community justice for the local authority area in the preparation of the plan.
6.23 The statement must give details of third sector and community bodies and others who participated in the plan process and specify the nature of this participation (for example whether this took the form of meetings, other events, online or social media etc.). Consultation arrangements with Community Justice Scotland must also be specified in the Participation Statement.
6.24 The statement may form part of the plan submitted by the statutory partners to Community Justice Scotland and published alongside the plan. If it cannot be submitted with the plan then it must be published as soon as is practicable after the plan is published and a copy submitted to Community Justice Scotland.
Resources to deliver the plan
6.25 The statutory partners for each local authority area will determine and agree the availability of resources to deliver the plan, working collaboratively.
Duty of co-operation (section 35)
6.26 One of the key building blocks of the new model is collaborative working. The statutory partners must work together to prepare, publish and annually report on the plan for the local authority area in relation to the OPI framework and national strategy for community justice.
6.27 Specifically, co-operation on community justice matters by the statutory partners in respect of a local authority area must include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Sharing information
- Providing advice and assistance
- Co-ordinating activities
- Funding activities together
Leadership and governance
6.28 The statutory partners may set up a locally agreed governance arrangement to assist them as they develop and agree their plan. All statutory partners will be jointly responsible for the plan.
Planning for an area greater than a local authority area
6.29 Where partners decide to work across local authority boundaries to plan for a larger geographical area this is acceptable, and may well be preferable in some instances, provided that such an approach has the support of all the statutory partners in the relevant local authority area/s.
6.30 Where plans are developed on a multi-local authority area basis the content of the plans must make clear which local authority areas relate to the particular activities/services identified in the plan.
6.31 The partners for each local area have a duty to publish the plan.
When must a Community Justice Outcomes Improvement Plan be prepared?
Timelines for the Community Justice Outcomes Improvement Plan
6.32 The first community justice outcomes improvement plan "the plan" for the local authority area must be published by 31 March 2017 for implementation from April 2017.
6.33 The lifetime of the plan ( i.e. the time period for which the plan applies) can be determined by the statutory partners subject to the caveats listed below.
6.34 Partners are required to report on progress of the plan on an annual basis. The progress report must be submitted to Community Justice Scotland and also made publicly available.
Review of the Community Justice Outcomes Improvement Plan [section 22 of the Act]
6.35 The statutory partners must review their plan from time to time to determine whether a new plan is required.
6.36 A review of the plan is also required in the following circumstances:
- When a revised National Performance Framework for Community Justice is published
- When a revised National Strategy for Community Justice is published
- When a revised Local Outcomes Improvement Plan for the local authority area is published
6.37 Following review of a plan, if the statutory partners decide not to revise it they must publish a statement indicating that they consider it should not be revised. A revised plan where produced should be developed in line with the plan preparation arrangements as outlined above and comply with the requirements laid down for engagement and consultation as outlined in chapter 8 of this guidance. This will become the new plan for the local authority area. Partners can produce a statement outlining why they have not revised their plan.
Performance management and reporting on progress of plans [section 23 of the Act]
6.38 A report on progress in achieving the outcomes in the plan must be prepared by the statutory community justice partners each year. The first annual report on progress is to cover the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018. Subsequent reporting periods will be
1 April to 31 March thereafter. The statutory partners must publish the annual report by 30 September each year starting in 2018.
6.39 A performance report for the plan should be published by the partners in an accessible format and made available in an accessible location ( e.g. a website) in accordance with the timelines established below. This should confirm the extent which progress has been achieved in relation to the common outcomes specified in the plan.
6.40 The partners must assess their performance against each nationally determined outcome ("common outcome") specified in the plan and report on whether it has been achieved or the extent to which it has been achieved. This analysis should be made with reference to the any relevant common indicators and any additional local indicators agreed.
6.41 In preparing the performance report the statutory partners must also consult relevant third sector bodies involved in community justice, community bodies and others as they consider locally appropriate. (For further information see chapter 8 of this guidance.)
6.42 The performance report must be published and a copy sent to Community Justice Scotland within the timescales laid down in this guidance.
6.43 In developing the plan for their local authority area (or areas if working on a multi-area basis), the statutory partners should give due consideration to the principles outlined in the National Strategy for Community Justice
6.44 To comply with relevant equalities and human rights legislation, an equalities impact assessment must be part of the process for the plan's development.
Engagement and consultation with third sector and communities
6.45 Community justice plans should be developed in consultation with the third sector, community bodies and communities involved in or affected by community justice. This should be done in accordance with national standards for community engagement.
6.46 By communities, we mean people who live or work in the local authority area. This may include (but is not restricted to) the following:
- Victims and witnesses and their families or representative bodies as appropriate
- People with convictions or representative bodies as appropriate
- Families of people with convictions or representative bodies
- General public or representative bodies
- Local businesses or representative bodies
- Third sector bodies involved in community justice or representative bodies
- Other stakeholders as locally determined by the statutory community justice partners
Developing a plan
6.47 In developing the plan, statutory partners should:
- Review the National Strategy, the OPI Framework and the current Local Outcomes Improvement Plan for the area
- Review the common outcomes and indicators for community justice
- Prepare a community justice needs assessment for your local authority area. (Evidence can also be identified via consultation and engagement activity undertaken with local stakeholders). Further information on Community Justice Needs Assessment and Data Sources can be found in Appendix D
- Prepare an equalities impact assessment for the plan
- Statutory partners must address all of the common outcomes in the OPI framework in their plan
- Identify whether the common outcome is being achieved in the area or how near the outcome is to being achieved (by reference to the common indicators in the OPI framework)
- Identify whether the common outcome is required to be a priority for action
- Identify relevant improvement actions from the National Strategy for each of the outcomes you are prioritising
- Decide which partners are best placed to take actions forward jointly or independently (recognising that partners may be statutory or non-statutory)
- From the list in the OPI framework, select which of the common indicators to use to measure improvement
- If a common indicator is not considered to be appropriate to local priorities, provide evidence to this effect and include in the plan an explanation as to why this common indicator will not be used
- Identify any further locally determined outcomes for community justice, again based on evidence. A logic modelling approach may assist with identifying indicators. An example of a logic model
is provided in Appendix E
- Identify any other material in relation to community justice that may be appropriate ( e.g. specific actions to be taken to address local needs and priorities)
- Engage with local third sector and community bodies involved in community justice on the development of the plan. Further information on designing and evaluating community justice interventions is given in Appendix E
- Consult with the local third sector and community bodies involved in community justice and other locally relevant stakeholders on the draft plan
- Publish the details of consultation and engagement undertaken in a Participation Statement - either as part of the plan or as soon as possible after the plan publication