Scottish Government consolidated accounts 2016 to 2017

Annual report of consolidated financial results of the Scottish Government, its Executive Agencies and the Crown Office.

Accountability Report

Corporate Governance

Information about the structure of the Scottish Government and details of the Scottish Government Ministers and senior officials can be found in the Performance Report and in the Governance Statement.

Statement of Accountable Officer’s Responsibilities

In accordance with the accounts direction (reproduced on page 119) issued under Section 19(4) of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 the Scottish Ministers are required to prepare resource accounts for each financial year in the form and on the basis set out in the Government Financial Reporting Manual, detailing the resources acquired, held, or disposed of during the year and the use of resources by the Scottish Ministers during the year.

The resource accounts are prepared on an accruals basis and must give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the Scottish Government, the net resource outturn, resources applied to objectives, recognised gains and losses and cash flows for the financial year.

The Permanent Secretary is the most senior member of the staff of the Scottish Administration and as the Principal Accountable Officer is the Accountable Officer responsible for preparing the accounts and submitting them to the Auditor General for Scotland.

In preparing the accounts the Principal Accountable Officer was required to comply with the Government Financial Reporting Manual ( FReM) and in particular to:

  • observe the accounts direction including the relevant accounting and disclosure requirements, and apply suitable accounting policies on a consistent basis;
  • make judgements and estimates on a reasonable basis;
  • state whether applicable accounting standards as set out in the FReM have been followed and disclose and explain any material departures in the accounts; and
  • prepare the accounts on a going concern basis.

The Principal Accountable Officer confirms that the Annual Report and Accounts as a whole are fair, balanced and reasonable.

The responsibilities of the Principal Accountable Officer are described in the Memorandum to Accountable Officers from the Principal Accountable Officer published in the Scottish Public Finance Manual, a copy of which can be found at

For the purposes of the audit, so far as the Principal Accountable Officer is aware, there is no relevant audit information of which the auditors are unaware and all necessary steps have been taken by the Principal Accountable Officer to ensure awareness of relevant audit information and to establish that the Scottish Government’s auditors are aware of that information.

The Principal Accountable Officer authorised these accounts for issue on 26 September 2017.

Governance Statement

Scope of Responsibility

As Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government I am responsible for ensuring that appropriate arrangements are in place for governance and that these arrangements support the Scottish Government’s purpose and the achievement of Scottish Ministers’ policies, aims and objectives.

As Principal Accountable Officer for the Scottish Administration (under the terms of the Public Finance & Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000), I am also responsible for ensuring the propriety and regularity of finances and the economic, efficient and effective use of resources. In discharging these overall responsibilities I am supported by the designated Accountable Officers within the core Scottish Government, in the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, in Scottish Government Executive Agencies and in Health Bodies.

Detailed information on the role and responsibilities of Accountable Officers is set out in the Accountability chapter of the Scottish Public Finance Manual (

Governance Framework

In line with the transfer of additional powers to the Scottish Government and in recognising the additional demands facing the organisation, I commissioned a review in November 2015 to explore opportunities to streamline the Scottish Government’s corporate governance arrangements while ensuring principles of effectiveness and transparency were maintained. This work was highlighted in the 2015-16 annual accounts as the Review of Corporate Governance 2020.

The review reported during the summer of 2016 and as a result the Scottish Government’s corporate governance arrangements were revised with effect from 1 October 2016. The governance frameworks that were in place throughout the 2016-17 financial year complied with all governance related guidance in the Scottish Public Finance Manual, the Civil Service Code ( /publications/civil-service-code/) and relevant elements of the Good Governance Standard for Public Services ( produced by the Independent Commission on Good Governance in Public Services. A schematic of the governance framework is set out at Figure 1.

Governance arrangements for the separate accounting entities within the Scottish Government consolidation boundary similarly comply with relevant guidance in the Scottish Public Finance Manual and generally accepted best practice principles.

Figure 1

Figure 1

The Scottish Government's strategy sets out our development priorities as the civil service supporting the Scottish Government. Responsibility for the strategy rests with the Executive Team, consisting of myself and the six Directors General. The Executive Team meets twice a week. The Executive Team reported directly to Strategic Board (April to September 2016) and under the new governance arrangements it now reports to the Executive Board (October 2016 – March 2017).

The chairs of the Scottish Government Audit and Risk Committee and portfolio audit and risk committees met once in the first six months of the reporting year to ensure consistency in approach, share good practice and provide a clear handover of business to the Director General led assurance groups that were implemented in the second half of the year. Links between all audit and risk committees, and between Non-Executive Directors and senior managers were further facilitated through a network for Scottish Government Non-Executive Directors.

The review of Corporate Governance focussed on six key governance activities: decision-making; assurance, including risk; accountability; challenge; direction and vision; and collaboration and co-production. The conclusion of the review was that there were four key areas where improvements could be made: 1) Structure; 2) Purpose; 3) Communication; and 4) Culture.

The key features of the new structure that was in place from October 2016 are outlined below:

  • The work of Strategic Board and its functions has been incorporated into a reframed Executive Board, which meets monthly and has responsibility for operational decisions, strategic direction and Corporate Risk. Membership of the Board consists of myself as Chair, the six Directors General and three Non-Executive Directors. Gordon Wales joined the Executive Board from 30 January 2017 as Acting DG Finance to cover an extended period of leave by DG Finance, Alyson Stafford. The Director of People and the Director of Communications, Ministerial Support and Facilities also regularly attend. Minutes from the Executive Board meetings can be found on the Scottish Government's website ( /publications).
  • The Executive Team will hold quarterly strategic sessions with input from all Non-Executive Directors, expert advisers, and with external involvement as required.
  • The previous operational corporate boards have been revised and streamlined to optimise efficiency. There are now three core Corporate Boards - People Board, Place Board, and Performance and Priorities Board - that meet at least quarterly. All Boards are chaired by Directors General and all Boards contain at least two Non-Executive Directors within its membership. There has been no change made to the Infrastructure Investment Board. All Corporate Boards are expected to report regularly to the Executive Board.
  • The Scottish Government Audit and Risk Committee's remit is now with the Scottish Government Assurance and Audit Committee. It continues to monitor and review the risk, control and governance arrangements within the Scottish Government. The revised Scottish Government Assurance and Audit Committee meets quarterly in line with the annual audit and accounts calendar and is chaired by a Non-Executive Director. The membership includes all Non-Executive Directors and now, in addition, all Directors General are expected to attend. The Committee therefore continues to support me in my role as Principal Accountable Officer through the provision of challenge and support.
  • The assurance framework supporting Scottish Government Assurance and Audit Committee has been amended with the previous portfolio audit and risk committees having been superseded, with the exception of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service due to the specific remit of that Committee. A new structure of Director General led quarterly assurance meetings has been established to support the Directors General to fulfil their Accountable Officer roles. Meetings are designed around four key pillars of assurance: 1) Performance and Outcomes; 2) People and Capability; 3) Finance and Risk; and 4) Organisational Efficiency. Meetings are chaired by the relevant Director General and include all Directors within the Portfolio, as well as the Non-Executive Director(s) to provide independent challenge and support. In addition to providing portfolio level assurance, the meetings are used to identify any issues that require escalation to Scottish Government Assurance and Audit Committee or the Executive Board. Audit Scotland is invited to attend at least one Director General level assurance meeting per financial year.
  • The number and role of Non-Executive Directors has been reviewed to enhance their direct contribution to me as Permanent Secretary. The total number of Non-Executive Directors has been reduced from twelve to seven, though the individual and collective time commitment provided has increased. Each Non-Executive Director is also now 'paired' with a Director General to allow greater development of subject knowledge, putting them in the best possible place to play an effective support and challenge role. They continue to be commissioned to engage in specific programmes of work and to review the activities of the organisation on a more flexible basis.
  • The revised governance arrangements have offered greater means to regularly interrogate corporate management information at the Directorate and Director General levels. A Balanced Scorecard is in development, which will be used to further enhance existing reporting on organisational performance, to drive improvement and inform corporate decision making.

Corporate Governance Review

As the new governance arrangements have now been operating for a period of 11 months, a review has been undertaken to ensure that they are meeting the original principles and objectives established for the new structures. This follow-up review led by the Crown Agent and the Director of Internal Audit was to identify any further recommendations to maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of the arrangements. Interim findings of the review were considered by the Executive Board on 5 September. The Board will be invited to agree final recommendations and an implementation plan at its meeting on 3 October.

The separate accounting entities within the Scottish Government consolidation boundary have corporate governance arrangements in place appropriate to their individual circumstances and in compliance with relevant guidance. The effectiveness of governance arrangements for the separate accounting entities is addressed in the governance statements provided by the entities concerned as part of their annual accounts.

National Performance Framework

The effectiveness of Scottish Government governance arrangements is ultimately linked to the achievement of policies, aims and objectives set by the Scottish Ministers.

The introduction of the National Performance Framework ( NPF) ( and the outcomes approach to government in 2007 have been the foundation for a transformative shift in how policy is made and for our organisational evolution and development as civil servants. Our “Scottish Approach” is focused on outcomes – on driving improvement; on building on the strengths and assets of individuals and communities; and on services which are shaped and co-produced by both service providers and the people and communities who receive and engage with those services.

The NPF sets out in the Purpose and the National Outcomes, a clear, unified vision for Scotland. A wide range of indicators are used to assess progress towards this vision. These provide a broad measure of national and societal wellbeing, incorporating a range of economic, social and environmental indicators and targets. Progress against the measures can be found on the Scotland Performs website (

Scottish Ministers are currently reviewing the National Outcomes to meet the duties in Part 1 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015.

Matching Resources to Priorities

The Scottish Government has taken steps this year to enhance the structure placed around ensuring organisational resources are managed as effectively as possible to respond to competing priorities, new responsibilities and changing circumstances. New powers coming to the Scottish Parliament, budget reductions and responding to external drivers such as the UK withdrawal from the EU require additional controls to be placed on the systematic approach taken to the use of resources across the Scottish Government. Work was undertaken by an operational group led by Directors General to improve the comprehensive methodology used in 2016-17 to ensure senior management allocated operating resources to support the delivery of Ministers’ priorities most effectively, alongside longer-term workforce planning.

Capacity and Capability

The substantial change to the financial powers being devolved to the Scottish Government, in the form of new responsibilities for taxes, social security and borrowing, and the fiscal institutional landscape evolving with the creation of Revenue Scotland and the Scottish Fiscal Commission, was the stimulus for the Director General Finance to commission work to review the internal processes, capacity and skills needed to meet the evolved needs of the organisation looking towards 2020. As a result of this work, action has been taken to strengthen further key professional finance teams.

Assurance Framework

An annual assurance on the adequacy and effectiveness of the core Scottish Government’s internal control system, including risk management and safeguards against losses - and the extent to which it can be relied upon is provided through the professional opinion of the Scottish Government’s Director of Internal Audit. In the annual assurance report submitted to the Scottish Government Assurance and Audit Committee on 22 June 2017, the Director of Internal Audit confirmed that reasonable assurance could be placed on the internal control arrangements.

Audit Scotland reviews the Scottish Government’s internal audit arrangements on an annual basis and for 2016-17 concluded that reliance could be placed on the work undertaken. Audit Scotland also provides assurance through the work undertaken on behalf of the Auditor General in auditing the Scottish Government consolidated accounts.

The process for the provision of annual assurances by senior staff within the core Scottish Government (and the other constituent parts of the Scottish Administration) is set out in the Scottish Public Finance Manual (

The culmination of this process is the provision of certificates of assurance from the Directors General to me, following advice from Non-Executive Directors. The Non-Executive Directors review, and advise on, the comprehensiveness of assurances provided to the Directors General. This includes the annual assurances provided by the Scottish Government Internal Audit, reports from managers and the consideration of information on control issues received in respect of any associated executive agencies, non-ministerial departments and sponsored bodies.

Each portfolio reports annually to the Scottish Government Assurance and Audit Committee to provide assurances that they are operating in accordance with Scottish Public Finance Manual guidance and to draw the Committee’s attention to relevant issues. Directors General have sought assurance from their respective Directors and have met with the Scottish Government Assurance and Audit Committee, prior to the finalisation of the Scottish Government consolidated accounts, to discuss their reports and any relevant issues. At this meeting on 26 September 2017, no significant control weaknesses were raised.

The Scottish Government Assurance and Audit Committee provides me with an annual assurance, timed to support the signature of the Scottish Government consolidated accounts and the associated governance statement, following consideration of the accounts by Executive Board on 5 September 2017. In providing such assurance the Scottish Government Assurance and Audit Committee must consider the comprehensiveness of the Scottish Government assurance framework, the reliability and integrity of assurances provided and the findings of both internal and external auditors. The Scottish Government Assurance and Audit Committee also advises on what, if any, issues arising during the financial year, and the period up to signature of the accounts, would warrant being recorded in the governance statement for the Scottish Government consolidated accounts. This process was completed in the course of the Scottish Government Assurance and Audit Committee meeting on 26 September 2017.

A similar process is in place in each of the separate accounting entities within the Scottish Government consolidation boundary.

Counter Fraud Activity

Guidance on the prevention, detection, reporting and handling of fraud is included in the Scottish Public Finance Manual ( SPFM) ( Development work in this area has included the adoption of the Police Scotland recommended Integrity Group model to improve the Scottish Government’s prevention of and response to fraud, bribery, corruption and wrongdoing.

The Integrity Group has a broader remit to its predecessor, the Counter Fraud Group, and is responsible for improving fraud prevention measures across corporate services within the Scottish Government as well as monitoring relevant cases of suspected external and internal wrongdoing made through formal reporting lines. This includes supporting and reporting on the concerns that are raised under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. The Group is also available to advise on the handling of specific allegations of external and internal wrongdoing where required.

The Scottish Government has continued to engage with cross-government groups, sharing our approach and supporting the prevention agenda through the Fraud, Error and Debt Team within Cabinet Office. The Scottish Government also continues to participate in the biennial National Fraud Initiative data matching exercise led by Audit Scotland to help public bodies minimise fraud and error in their organisations.

Data Security Framework

Information assurance and security are strategic risks for the Scottish Government and Director General Organisational Development and Operations, as the Senior Information Risk Owner, is the focus for the management of information risk at Strategic Board. Corporate policies and guidance are in place to ensure that the Scottish Government meets its legislative and procedural obligations to protect data and minimise the likelihood of a data loss incident.

There were 4 significant data security incidents in 2016-17 that could have resulted in the loss of Scottish Government information. Three of these incidents were also reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office ( ICO). While no enforcement action was taken by the Information Commissioner, appropriate actions were taken by the Scottish Government in each case to ensure that the probable impact of any loss was minimised. Additional local procedures were also put in place to minimise the likelihood of any future recurrence.

The global cyber-attack on 12th May 2017 affected more than 150 countries worldwide and had a high profile impact on some NHS services in Scotland. This underlined the seriousness of cyber-related threats to the Scottish Government. In partnership with the National Cyber Resilience Leaders Board, the Scottish Government is leading a coordinated action plan that sets out the key actions to be undertaken during 2017-18 to help bring about even higher standards of cyber resilience across Scotland’s public bodies. Scottish Government will itself become a ‘cyber-catalyst’ organisation, sharing learning and knowledge in order to help drive best practice in respect of cyber resilience across the Scottish public sector.

Risk Management Arrangements

The Scottish Government approach to risk management is consistent with the principles highlighted in the Scottish Public Finance Manual and is published on the Scottish Government intranet and website.

The Scottish Government operates in a dynamic environment, delivering the priorities of the Scottish Government whilst managing associated risks and opportunities. Over the last year a number of key risks have been scrutinised at a corporate level in the organisation. These include:

  • The Common Agricultural Policy ( CAP) Futures Programme. Designed to deliver the IT functionality plus associated system and controls, to support implementation of the new CAP including payments to farmers and crofters in 2016-17 and comply with EC paying agency requirements.
  • The Scottish Government's capability and capacity to deliver the Government's priorities while maintaining high standards of competence.
  • Public Service Reform activities to enable the whole system change required to deliver improved outcomes and contribute to the sustainability of public services.
  • The Scottish Government's strategy to ensure that Scotland's interests are protected in the UK withdrawal from the EU.
  • Health and Social Care Partnerships to assure the quality of outcomes achieved and sustainability of services.
  • The Scottish Government's ability to respond to cyber-attacks and its role in ensuring a common approach to achieving higher standards of cyber resilience amongst Scotland's public sector organisations.
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in decision making across the Scottish Government to enable statutory climate change targets to be met in the future.
  • The safe and secure transition of new powers over social security from the UK Government to the Scottish Government.

Significant Internal Control Issues

Freedom of Information ( FOI) Performance: While there are appropriate arrangements in place to ensure staff are appropriately trained and supported to handle FOI and Environmental Information Regulations ( EIR) requests, the Scottish Government does not consistently meet the statutory 20 working day deadline for responding to FOI/ EIRs requests and reviews. New targets and reporting arrangements have been agreed with the Scottish Information Commissioner and steps have been taken to support improvements in performance. The targets are 85% of requests and reviews on time from April 2017, 90% in 2018 and 95% within the following 2 years. Since these targets and reporting arrangements were put in place, our overall performance has improved. In addition, an FOI improvement project has been set up to look at ways of achieving and maintaining the higher levels of performance required in subsequent years. New arrangements have also been put in place to publish all FOI responses on the Scottish Government website.

Common Agricultural Policy ( CAP) Payments: Ensuring CAP payments are delivered effectively continues to be extremely challenging. Controls in this area are developing but they require sustained improvement work in order to reach the required standard of confidence. There remain significant challenges to the business meeting its regulatory requirements and mitigating the risk of potential penalties. It should be noted that improvement work has already taken place, chiefly, in the areas of Risk, Project and Programme Management, Business Planning, Investment and Human Resources. The programme continues to be the subject of extensive scrutiny arrangements and, given the progress achieved in the latter part of the year, I am confident these inspection arrangements will recognise further improvements during the year ahead.

NHS Tayside: The Scottish Government agreed to a request for brokerage from NHS Tayside of £13.2 million in respect of 2016-17 financial year, taking the total outstanding level of brokerage due from NHS Tayside to £33.2 million. This followed close monitoring of the position at NHS Tayside over the course of 2016-17. The Assurance and Advisory Group, appointed by the Scottish Government, reported in June that current financial projections for 2017-18 are likely to be underestimated, after adjusting for risks to planned savings and asset disposals. With support from a Transformation Support Team, NHS Tayside will carry out a rigorous and comprehensive review of its financial planning framework with the results to be provided to Scottish Government by the end of September 2017. This will form the basis of an agreed financial plan for NHS Tayside and an update to NHS Tayside’s Five Year Transformation Programme.

Fire Health and Safety: In response to the fire health and safety issues raised following the fire at Grenfell Tower, a Ministerial Working Group has been established to examine building and fire safety, to provide public reassurance of the safety of high rise buildings in Scotland. Assurance has been sought on the safety of public sector estate; NHS buildings, schools, universities and hospitals, with action taken as appropriate where required to ensure safety.

Details of the risk and control frameworks in place in the separate accounting entities within the Scottish Government consolidation boundary are provided in the governance statements provided by the entities concerned as part of their annual accounts.

Written Authority

Under the terms of the Public Finance & Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 there is a statutory duty on the Principal Accountable Officer and designated Accountable Officers to obtain written authority from, as the case may be Ministers or governing boards before taking any action which we consider to be inconsistent with the proper performance of our functions as Accountable Officers.

No such written authority was required during the 2016-17 financial year, or the period up to the signature of the accounts, by Accountable Officers within the Scottish Government consolidation boundary.

Remuneration and Staff Report

The information in the Performance and Accountability Reports is reviewed by the external auditors for consistency with the financial statements, and the information disclosed in tables on pages 33-43 has been audited by them.


Civil service appointments are made in accordance with the Civil Service Commissioners' Recruitment Principles, which require appointments to be on merit on the basis of fair and open competition but also include the circumstances when appointments may otherwise be made.

Director General members of the Scottish Government Executive Board are appointed following approval by the Head of the Home Civil Service, following consultation with the First Minister in accordance with the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010. Prior to the introduction of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010, appointments were approved by the Prime Minister.

All of the Executive members of the Scottish Government Executive Board, covered by this report, hold appointments which are open-ended until they choose to retire. The rules for termination of appointments are set out in chapter 11 of the Civil Service Management Code. Early termination, other than for misconduct, would result in the individual receiving compensation as set out in the Civil Service Compensation Scheme. The Scottish Government, its Agencies and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, in line with the rest of the UK Civil Service, introduced a policy of no mandatory retirement age for the Senior Civil Service from 1 October 2009, in line with the implementation of the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006. Under current arrangements, an individual's pension will become payable from age 60 if they were employed in the Civil Service prior to 30 July 2007, and in these circumstances that employee can choose to leave work and collect his or her pension at any time from age 60, subject only to compliance with the basic notice of leave requirements. The Government announced a number of reforms to civil service pensions which were applied from 1 April 2015.

Further information about the work of the Civil Service Commissioners can be found at

Independent non-executive members of the Scottish Government Executive Board are appointed by the Permanent Secretary for an initial period of two to three years (normally up to a maximum of six years via re-appointment). Such appointments can be terminated with one month's notice period.

Remuneration Policy

The salaries of the Scottish Government Ministers were established under section 81(1) and (2) of the Scotland Act 1998. They are paid through the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body ( SPCB).

The remuneration of senior civil servants ( SCS) is set in accordance with the Civil Service Management Code (available at and with independent advice from the Review Body on Senior Salaries ( SSRB).

In reaching its recommendations, the SSRB is to have regard to the following considerations:

  • The need to recruit, retain, motivate and where relevant, promote suitably able and qualified people to exercise their different responsibilities;
  • Regional/local variations in labour markets and their effects on the recruitment, retention and, where relevant, promotion of staff;
  • Government policies for improving the public services including the requirement on departments to meet the output targets for the delivery of departmental services;
  • The funds available to departments as set out in the Government's departmental expenditure limits; and
  • The Government's inflation target.

Further information about the work of the SSRB can be found at

Within the Scottish Government, the Top Level Pay Committee, comprising the Permanent Secretary, the Directors General, Chief Executive of the Crown Office and Non-executive members of the Executive Board, ensures that the Pay and Performance Management policy falls within the parameters set by the SSRB and Cabinet Office. The Scottish Government's Top Level Pay Committee has agreed that for SCS pay in 2016-17:-

  • all SCS staff, apart from poor performers and those near the maximum of the pay range, will receive a 1% pay uplift to their base pay;
  • those staff paid at the lowest end of the Deputy Director 1 pay band will receive a slightly higher increase with salaries lifted to a revalorised rate of £70,800; and
  • in line with Scottish Public Sector Pay Policy there will be no non-consolidated performance payments.

The Permanent Secretary’s salary and performance-related pay are set as part of a UK Cabinet Office framework and agreed by the Prime Minister.

Non-executive members receive fees for attendance at regular Scottish Government Executive Board meetings and Scottish Government Audit and Assurance Committee ( SGAAC) meetings. Non-executive members expenses incurred in attending these meetings are also reimbursed.


The remuneration of the Ministers who served over the year to 31 March 2017 and members of the Scottish Government Executive Board is noted below.

Ministers and Law Officers

The remuneration of the First Minister and the Cabinet Ministers during the year to 31 March 2017 is shown in the table below. Ministerial salaries are additional to salaries and entitlements as MSPs. The full year salary rate for the First Minister is £87,910 and for all other Cabinet Ministers is £45,605.

Gross Salary
Gross Salary
£ £
Nicola Sturgeon, MSP (1) 87,910 85,598
John Swinney, MSP 45,605 44,406
Keith Brown, MSP 45,605 44,406
Roseanna Cunningham, MSP 45,605 44,406
Angela Constance, MSP 45,605 44,406
Shona Robison, MSP 45,605 44,406
Alex Neil, MSP (2) 6,007 44,406
Michael Matheson, MSP 45,605 44,406
Richard Lochhead, MSP (2) 6,007 44,406
Fiona Hyslop, MSP 45,605 44,406
Derek Mackay, MSP (3) 39,721 -
Fergus Ewing, MSP (3) 39,721 -

(1) The First Minister has a benefit-in-kind for 2016-17 of £334 arising from the provision of accommodation at Bute House (2015-16: £93.81).

(2) Alex Neil and Richard Lochhead resigned as Cabinet Ministers on 18 May 2016. The full year equivalent salary is £45,605.

(3) Derek Mackay and Fergus Ewing were appointed as Cabinet Ministers on 18 May 2016. The full year equivalent salary is £45,605.

Scottish Government Ministers Pay Freeze Commitment

The Scottish Parliament Corporate Body is required under Chapter 46, Section 81 of the Scotland Act 1998 to make provision for the payment of salaries to MSPs, Officeholders of the Parliament and Ministers. A resolution of the Parliament to pay salaries in accordance with the Scottish Parliamentary Salaries Scheme was passed by the Parliament on a free vote on 21 March 2002. The Scheme determines that the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body should decide the salary levels for Members and Officeholders including the Law Officers. The Scheme determines that Members’ and Officeholders’ salary rates should be increased annually from 1 April in line with public sector pay rises in Scotland, using the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings published by the Office for National Statistics.

Scottish Government Ministers and the Law Officers have previously agreed to freeze pay as at their April 2009 pay level. The Salaries Scheme does not give the power to withhold an annual increase. To achieve the required reduction, pay increases are deducted from the Ministers’ and the Law Officers’ net salaries and repaid to the Scottish Consolidated Fund. The disclosure reflects the salary awarded under the Scottish Parliamentary Salaries Scheme.

Law Officers

The remuneration of the serving Law Officers for the year to 31 March 2017 is shown below:

2016-17 2015-16
Gross Salary Gross Salary
£ £
James Wolffe, QC (1) 99,887 -
Alison Di Rollo, QC (2) 86,186 -
Frank Mulholland, QC (1) 20,712 117,102
Lesley Thomson, QC (2) 17,871 101,040

(1) On 2nd June 2016 James Wolffe QC superseded Frank Mulholland QC as Lord Advocate. The full year equivalent gross salary for James Wolffe QC was £120,265.

(2) On 2nd June 2016 Alison Di Rollo QC superseded Lesley Thomson QC as Solicitor General. The full year equivalent gross salary for Alison Di Rollo QC was £103,769.

Senior Management Team

The remuneration for the Permanent Secretary and members of the Scottish Government Executive Board for the year to 31 March 2017 were as follows:

Salary Salary Pension Pension Total Total
Benefits Benefits
2016-17 2015-16 *2016-17 *2015-16 2016-17 2015-16
£'000 £'000 £'000 £'000 £'000 £'000
Sir Peter Housden KCB (1) - 60-65 - - - 60-65
Leslie Evans (2) 160-165 150-155 28 258 190-195 410-415
Sarah Davidson 115-120 115-120 46 70 160-165 185-190
Graeme Dickson (3) 15-20 115-120 3 38 20-25 155-160
Liz Ditchburn (4) 110-115 - 124 - 230-235 -
Paul Gray 145-150 145-150 - - 145-150 145-150
Paul Johnston (5) 115-120 80-85 93 72 205-210 150-155
Alyson Stafford CBE 135-140 135-140 53 66 190-195 200-205
Ken Thomson 115-120 115-120 11 43 125-130 160-165
Gordon Wales (6) 15-20 - 23 - 40-45 -

*Pension benefits are calculated as real increase in pension multiplied by 20 plus the real increase in any lump sum less the contributions made by the individual.

(1) Sir Peter Housden KCB left the Executive Board on 30 June 2015. The full year salary band was £180-185k.

(2) Leslie Evans served the Executive Board as DG Learning and Justice, until 1 July 2015 when she was appointed as Permanent Secretary. The full year salary band as Permanent Secretary was £160-165k. A retrospective update to pensionable pay has resulted in the Permanent Secretary’s 2015-16 pensionable pay being reduced from £298k to £258k.

(3) Graeme Dickson left the Executive Board on 31 May 2016. The full year salary band was £115-£120k.

(4) Liz Ditchburn joined the Executive Board on 18 April 2016. The full year salary band was £115-120k.

(5) Paul Johnston joined the Executive Board on 15 June 2015. The full year salary band was £105-110k. A retrospective update to pensionable pay has resulted in the DG Learning and Justice’s 2015-16 pensionable pay being increased from £70k to £72k.

(6) Gordon Wales joined the Executive Board on 30 January 2017. The full year salary band was £105-110k.

No members of the Scottish Government Executive Board received benefits-in-kind.

In accordance with the FReM, reporting bodies are required to disclose the relationship between the remuneration of the highest-paid member of the Senior Management Team in their organisation and the median remuneration of the organisation's workforce. The median calculation includes directly employed staff paid through SG payroll. It covers both permanent staff and those on fixed term contracts. It does not include temporary agency staff paid locally by invoice. The ratio is calculated as the mid-point of the highest band divided by the median total remuneration.

2016-17 2015-16
£'000 £'000
Minimum Total Remuneration 17 17
Maximum Total Remuneration 164 162
Band of Highest Paid member of the Executive Board Total Remuneration (1) 160-165 150-155
Median Total Remuneration 31,811 31,340
Ratio 5.1 4.9

(1) The 2015-16 full year salary band for this role was £160-165k.

Equivalent information relating to senior managers of the other bodies consolidated within these accounts is given in their respective annual accounts.

Total remuneration includes salary, non-consolidated performance-related pay, and benefits-in-kind. It does not include employer pension contributions and the cash equivalent transfer value of pensions.

Non-Executive Members


'Salary' includes gross salary; non-consolidated performance related pay; overtime; reserved rights to London weighting or London allowances; recruitment and retention allowances; private office allowances and any other allowance to the extent that it is subject to UK taxation and any ex-gratia payments.


The monetary value of benefits-in-kind covers any benefits provided by the Scottish Government and treated by HM Revenue and Customs as a taxable emolument.

The fees for the non-executive members of the Scottish Government Executive Board are as follows:

2016-17 2015-16
Fees Fees
£’000 £'000
Christina Allon (until September 2016) 0-5 5-10
Janet Hamblin (from September 2015) 5-10 0-5
Linda McKay 5-10 5-10
Ronnie Hinds (from October 2016) 0-5 -

No non-executive members of the Scottish Government Executive Board received benefits-in-kind. The non-executive members do not participate in the Civil Service Pension Scheme.

Pension Benefits

Ministers and Law Officers

The pension entitlements of the Cabinet Team for the year to 31 March 2017 are shown below:

Accrued pension Real increase CETV at CETV at Real
at age 65 as at in pension 31-Mar-17 31-Mar-16 Increase
31-Mar-17 at age 65 in CETV
£'000 £'000 £'000 £'000 £'000
Nicola Sturgeon 40-45 2.5-5 241 204 37
John Swinney, MSP 20-25 0-2.5 147 124 23
Fiona Hyslop, MSP 20-25 0-2.5 147 124 23
Richard Lochhead, MSP 25-30 0-2.5 128 109 19
Alex Neil, MSP 25-30 0-2.5 175 149 26
Angela Constance, MSP 15-20 0-2.5 67 53 14
Shona Robison, MSP 20-25 0-2.5 139 118 21
Keith Brown, MSP 20-25 0-2.5 136 113 23
Michael Matheson, MSP 20-25 0-2.5 78 61 17
Roseanna Cunningham, MSP 20-25 0-2.5 175 149 26
Derek Mackay, MSP 70-75 2.5-5 37 - 37
Fergus Ewing, MSP 130-135 5-7.5 112 - 112

New factors are used in the calculator for the CETV values at the start and end of the period. This means CETV values shown at 31 March 2016 may not match those shown in last year's accounts.

The pension figures shown relate to the benefits that the individual has accrued as a consequence of their total ministerial service, and not just their current appointment as a Minister. The Ministers are members of the Scottish Parliamentary Pension Scheme, full details of which are available from

The pension entitlements of the Law Officers are shown below:

Accrued pension Real increase CETV at CETV at Real
at age 65 as at in pension 31-Mar-17 31-Mar-16 Increase
31-Mar-17 at age 65 in CETV
£'000 £'000 £'000 £'000 £'000
Frank Mulholland, QC * 20-25 0-2.5 343 316 26
Lesley Thomson, QC * 10-15 0-2.5 204 192 13
James Wolffe, QC * 0-5 0-2.5 36 - 36
Alison Di Rollo, QC * 0-5 0-2.5 32 - 32

* On 2nd June 2016 James Wolffe QC and Alison Di Rollo QC superseded Frank Mulholland QC and Lesley Thomson QC as Lord Advocate and Solicitor General respectively.

Senior Management Team

The pension entitlements of the Permanent Secretary and executive members of the Scottish Government Executive Board are as follows (equivalent information relating to senior managers of other bodies consolidated within these accounts is given in their respective annual accounts):

Accrued pension
at age 60
and related lump sum as at
Real increase
in pension and
related lump sum
at pension age
£'000 £'000 £'000 £'000 £'000
Leslie Evans 65-70 plus lump sum 200-205 0-2.5 plus lump sum 5-7.5 1,525 1,431 27
Sarah Davidson 30-35 plus lump sum 85-90 2.5-5 plus lump sum 0-2.5 514 471 18
Graeme Dickson 40-45 plus lump sum 140-145 0-2.5 plus lump sum 0-2.5 1,108 1,100 3
Liz Ditchburn 30-35 plus lump sum 15-20 5-7.5 plus a lump sum 2.5-5 631 492 113
Paul Johnston 25-30 plus lump sum 60-65 2.5-5 plus lump sum 5-7.5 354 290 45
Alyson Stafford CBE 30-35 2.5-5 470 419 25
Ken Thomson 50-55 0-2.5 939 888 8
Gordon Wales 35-40 plus lump sum 100-105 0-2.5 plus lump sum 0-2.5 631 614 15

Paul Gray, Director General for Health & Social Care, chose not to be covered by the Civil Service pension arrangements during the reporting year.

There is no automatic right to a lump sum for officials who are members of the Premium Pension Scheme or the Nuvos Pension Scheme.

New factors are used in the calculator for the CETV values at the start and end of the period. This means CETV values shown at 31 March 2016 may not match those shown in last year's accounts.

No employer contributions have been made to the partnership pension accounts.

Civil Service Pensions

Pension benefits are provided through the Civil Service pension arrangements. From 1 April 2015 a new pension scheme for civil servants was introduced – the Civil Servants and Others Pension Scheme or alpha, which provides benefits on a career average basis with a normal pension age equal to the member’s State Pension Age (or 65 if higher). From that date all newly appointed civil servants and the majority of those already in service joined alpha. Prior to that date, civil servants participated in the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme ( PCSPS). The PCSPS has four sections: 3 providing benefits on a final salary basis ( classic, premium or classic plus) with a normal pension age of 60; and one providing benefits on a whole career basis ( nuvos) with a normal pension age of 65.

These statutory arrangements are unfunded with the cost of benefits met by monies voted by Parliament each year. Pensions payable under classic, premium, classic plus, nuvos and alpha are increased annually in line with Pensions Increase legislation. Existing members of the PCSPS who were within 10 years of their normal pension age on 1 April 2012 remained in the PCSPS after 1 April 2015. Those who were between 10 years and 13 years and 5 months from their normal pension age on 1 April 2012 will switch into alpha sometime between 1 June 2015 and 1 February 2022. All members who switch to alpha have their PCSPS benefits ‘banked’, with those with earlier benefits in one of the final salary sections of the PCSPS having those benefits based on their final salary when they leave alpha. (The pension figures quoted for officials show pension earned in PCSPS or alpha – as appropriate. Where the official has benefits in both the PCSPS and alpha the figure quoted is the combined value of their benefits in the two schemes.) Members joining from October 2002 may opt for either the appropriate defined benefit arrangement or a ‘money purchase’ stakeholder pension with an employer contribution ( partnership pension account).

Employee contributions are salary-related and range between 3% and 8.05% of pensionable earnings for members of classic (and members of alpha who were members of classic immediately before joining alpha) and between 4.6% and 8.05% for members of premium, classic plus, nuvos and all other members of alpha. Benefits in classic accrue at the rate of 1/80th of final pensionable earnings for each year of service. In addition, a lump sum equivalent to three years initial pension is payable on retirement. For premium, benefits accrue at the rate of 1/60th of final pensionable earnings for each year of service. Unlike classic, there is no automatic lump sum, classic plus is essentially a hybrid with benefits for service before 1 October 2002 calculated broadly as per classic and benefits for service from October 2002 worked out as in premium. In nuvos a member builds up a pension based on their pensionable earnings during their period of scheme membership. At the end of the scheme year (31 March) the member’s earned pension account is credited with 2.3% of their pensionable earnings in that scheme year and the accrued pension is uprated in line with Pensions Increase legislation. Benefits in alpha build up in a similar way to nuvos, except that the accrual rate in 2.32%. In all cases members may opt to give up (commute) pension for a lump sum up to the limits set by the Finance Act 2004.

The partnership pension account is a stakeholder pension arrangement. The employer makes a basic contribution of between 8% and 14.75% (depending on the age of the member) into a stakeholder pension product chosen by the employee from a panel of providers. The employee does not have to contribute, but where they do make contributions, the employer will match these up to a limit of 3% of pensionable salary (in addition to the employer’s basic contribution). Employers also contribute a further 0.5% of pensionable salary to cover the cost of centrally-provided risk benefit cover (death in service and ill health retirement).

The accrued pension quoted is the pension the member is entitled to receive when they reach pension age, or immediately on ceasing to be an active member of the scheme if they are already at or over pension age. Pension age is 60 for members of classic, premium and classic plus, 65 for members of nuvos, and the higher of 65 or State Pension Age for members of alpha. (The pension figures quoted for officials show pension earned in PCSPS or alpha – as appropriate. Where the official has benefits in both the PCSPS and alpha the figure quoted is the combined value of their benefits in the two schemes, but note that part of that pension may be payable from different ages.)

Further details about the Civil Service pension arrangements can be found at the website

Cash Equivalent Transfer Values for Civil Service pensions

A Cash Equivalent Transfer Value ( CETV) is the actuarially assessed capitalised value of the pension scheme benefits accrued by a member at a particular point in time. The benefits valued are the member’s accrued benefits and any contingent spouse’s pension payable from the scheme. A CETV is a payment made by a pension scheme or arrangement to secure pension benefits in another pension scheme or arrangement when the member leaves a scheme and chooses to transfer the benefits accrued in their former scheme. The pension figures shown relate to the benefits that the individual has accrued as a consequence of their total membership of the pension scheme, not just their service in a senior capacity to which disclosure applies.

The figures include the value of any pension benefit in another scheme or arrangement which the member has transferred to the Civil Service pension arrangements. They also include any additional pension benefit accrued to the member as a result of their buying additional pension benefits at their own cost. CETVs are worked out in accordance with The Occupational Pension Schemes (Transfer Values) (Amendment) Regulations 2008 and do not take account of any actual or potential reduction to benefits resulting from Lifetime Allowance Tax which may be due when pension benefits are taken.

Real increase in CETV

This reflects the increase in CETV that is funded by the employer. It does not include the increase in accrued pension due to inflation, contributions paid by the employee (including the value of any benefits transferred from another pension scheme or arrangement) and uses common market valuation factors for the start and end of the period.

For 2016-17 Scottish Government employers’ contributions of £59m (2015-16: £71m) were payable to PCSPS at one of four rates in the range 20% to 24.5% of pensionable pay, based on salary bands. The Scheme Actuary reviews employer contributions every four years following a full scheme valuation. The contribution rates are set to meet the cost of the benefits accruing during 2016-17 to be paid when the member retires, and not the benefits paid during this period to existing pensioners.

For 2016-17 the value of Scottish Government employers’ contributions relating to the partnership pension account is £384k (2015-16: £348k). There were no contributions due to the partnership pension or prepaid at the balance sheet date.

People and Culture

Staff numbers and related costs

Staff numbers (Full time equivalent) No of Special Advisors Permanent Staff Other 2016-17 Total 2015-16 Total
Finance and the Constitution 0 682 37 719 610
Health and Sport 0 143,333 1,959 145,292 145,655
Education and Skills 0 1,191 380 1,571 1,454
Economy, Jobs and Fair Work 0 235 24 259 228
Justice 0 4,631 17 4,648 4,755
Communities, Social Security and Equalities 0 507 20 527 480
Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform 0 113 6 119 125
Culture, Tourism and External Affairs 0 67 4 71 78
Rural Economy and Connectivity 0 1,888 240 2,128 1,902
Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service 0 1,358 259 1,617 1,607
Administration 10 1,186 105 1,301 1,254
SG Executive Board 0 7 0 7 7
Total 10 155,198 3,051 158,259 158,155
Staff costs 2016-17
Wages and Salaries (Permanent staff) 5,517 5,399
Social security costs (Permanent staff) 555 433
Other pension costs (Permanent staff) 749 746
Sub-total 6,821 6,578
Non-Permanent Staff (including Agency, temporary, contract staff and inward secondments) 284 279
Total 7,105 6,857
Less recoveries in respect of outward secondments (37) (52)
Total net costs 7,068 6,805

Number and cost of exit packages

Exit Packages Cost Band No of departures agreed 2016-17 Cost of exit packages
No of departures agreed 2015-16 Cost of exit packages
<£10,000 23 124 46 201
£10,000 to £25,000 50 834 34 629
£25,000 to £50,000 40 1,406 44 1,619
£50,000 to £100,000 31 2,174 38 2,586
£100,000 to £150,000 1 122 3 519
£150,000 to £200,000 0 0 3 536
£200,000 to £250,000 0 0 0 0
£250,000+ 0 0 1 315
Total number / cost of exit packages 145 4,660 169 6,405

There were no compulsory redundancies in 2016-17 or 2015-16.

Staff Relations, Diversity and Equal Opportunities

The Scottish Government is an equal opportunities employer. Policies are in place to guard against bullying, harassment and discrimination, to ensure that there is no unfair or unlawful discriminatory treatment or any barriers to employment or advancement in the Scottish Government. We also have a diversity policy to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The Scottish Government is also committed to meeting its public sector duties under the Equality Act 2010.

The Scottish Government Equal Opportunities policy states that all staff should be treated equally irrespective of their sex, marital/civil partnership status, age, race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, religion or belief, work pattern, employment status, gender identity (transgender), maternity or paternity status, caring responsibility or trade union membership. Employment and promotion are solely on merit and all opportunities are available to all staff irrespective of working pattern. Furthermore the Scottish Government is committed to increasing the diversity of staff within the organisation. We are committed to developing all our staff, whilst ignoring all irrelevant differences in their management and development. In addition, we will positively value the different perspectives and skills of all our staff and make full use of these in our work.

The Scottish Government gives a high priority to the development of all its people. This is set out in the Scottish Government’s People Strategy. Learning events are tested and evaluated on an on-going basis to ensure the high quality of content, relevance and accessibility is maintained. Learning and Development in the Scottish Government is quality assured through its commitment to the Investor in People (IiP) Scheme. In August 2013, the Scottish Government became the first central UK Civil Service organisation to be recognised with a Gold Award. The Scottish Government is committed to a programme of continuous improvement in relation to its implementation of the People Strategy and the IiP standard, attaining accreditation for Investors in Young People.

The Scottish Government recognises that the success of any organisation depends largely on the effective performance, engagement and attendance of all its employees. People are a valued resource. Therefore, as an employer the Scottish Government's Attendance Management procedures are designed to maintain a well-motivated and healthy workforce. The procedures are intended to:

  • be supportive and positive;
  • promote fair and consistent treatment for everyone;
  • encourage, assist and make it easy for people to return to and stay in work; and
  • explain employees’ entitlements and the roles and responsibilities of HR.

In 2016-17 an average of 7.4 working days (2015-16: 7.2) were lost per staff year for the Scottish Government. The NHS Bodies in Scotland report their sickness absence rates based on contracted hours lost rather than days lost due to different shift patterns in the NHS Scotland workforce. The sickness absence rate across NHS Scotland for the year to 31 March 2017 was 5.2% of total contracted hours (2015-16: 4.7% of total contracted hours). Sickness absence rates for agencies and other consolidated bodies can be found in their individually published annual accounts.

During 2016-17 there were 39,000 male employees, 137,943 female employees and 3 who prefer not to say. This is measured as head count numbers and not full time equivalents as used in the staff numbers table.

The Scottish Government made significant progress over the last 2 years jumping 163 places from 216 to 50 on the Stonewall UK Workplace Equality Index ( WEI), the fourth top public sector organisation in Scotland. The Stonewall WEI is an evidence-based benchmarking tool used by employers to assess their achievements and progress on LGBT equality in the workplace.

The Scottish Government supports the wider Civil Service Talent Action Plan in its drive to mainstream equality and diversity further into every aspect of its business. This includes changing behaviours and culture to create a fully inclusive Civil Service, confident in its diversity; promoting strong leadership and clear accountability for delivering diversity; attracting, keeping and developing talent from all societies in Scotland; and becoming representative of the society we serve, at all levels.

Employment of Disabled People

The Scottish Government follows Civil Service good practice guidance on the employment of disabled people and has been awarded the Disability Confident standard this standard recognises organisations evidence best practice in employing, retaining and developing disabled applicants and disabled staff. As such, the Scottish Government ensures that there is no discrimination on the grounds of disability and that access to employment and career advancement is based solely on merit, competence and suitability for the work.

The Scottish Government has also been awarded the Carers Kitemark for its policies and commitment to carers in the organisation and by carrying the “Happy to Talk Flexibly” strapline is open about the commitment to ensuring staff are able to work flexibly and have a positive work life balance.

The average number of disabled employees employed by the Scottish Government, its Executive Agencies, Health Bodies and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service over the year to 31 March 2017 was 1,791 (2015-16: 1,947).

Losses and special payments

The following losses and special payments have been audited by the Scottish Government’s auditors. Losses and special payments are in the nature of transactions which Parliament cannot be supposed to have contemplated when approving the annual Budget Act and subsequent Amendment Orders. The Scottish Public Finance Manual requires a formal approval procedure to regularise such transactions and their notation in the annual accounts.

Losses Statement

2016-17 2016-17 2015-16
Portfolio No of Cases £m £m
Finance and the Constitution - - 0.17
Health and Sport 5,394 3.11 3.06
Education and Skills 2 0.05 0.19
Economy, Jobs and Fair Work - - 0.56
Justice 486 0.48 0.03
Communities, Social Security and Equalities - - 0.69
Rural Economy and Connectivity 21 0.48 0.15
Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform - - 0.17
Culture, Tourism and External Affairs - - 0.02
Administration 16 0.20 0.04

Details of cases over £0.25m

The Justice portfolio wrote off fruitless payments relating to a failed Electronic Procurement System project costs amounting to £0.44m. There were no cases over £0.25m in 2015/16.

Special Payments

2016-17 2016-17 2015-16
Portfolio No of Cases £m £m
Finance and the Constitution 12 0.03 -
Health and Sport 1,227 32.89 50.47
Education and Skills - - 0.02
Justice 271 1.53 1.26
Rural Economy and Connectivity 3 0.03 -
Administration 22 0.02 0.04
Details of cases over £0.3m 2016-17 2016-17 2015-16
Portfolio No of Cases Details £m £m
Health and Sport: NHS Boards: Clinical Compensation Payments:
1 Ayrshire and Arran Health Board 0.5 1.45
- NHS Borders - 0.71
- NHS Dumfries and Galloway - -
3 Fife Health Board 3.17 0.41
2 Forth Valley Health Board 3.02 1.04
1 Grampian Health Board 0.83 2.98
5 Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board 3.14 10.88
1 NHS Highland 0.35 0.81
2 Lanarkshire Health Board 2.60 10.27
6 Lothian Health Board 2.04 3.26
2 Tayside Health Board 0.54 4.21
1 NHS 24 0.53 -
- Scottish Ambulance Service - 0.94
1 Western Isles Health Board 0.27 -


The Scottish Government made gifts in the year as follows:

2016-17 2016-17 2015-16
Portfolio No of Cases £m £m
Administration 116 0.002 0.003

There were no cases over £0.25m in 2016/17 (2015/16: £nil).

Principal Accountable Officer
26 September 2017


Enail: Alison Douglas,

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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