Information is absolutely fundamental to us being able to carry out our business effectively and plays a major role in helping us meet the priorities outlined as part of 'In the service of Scotland – our vision for the Scottish Government'.
Managing, gathering and using our information – while protecting it sufficiently and sharing appropriately with the public and stakeholders - is the responsibility of each and every one of us.
In recent times we have rightly been challenged about our information management and governance, including our ability to respond to formal Inquiries related to a range of matters. And it's right that we should be held to high standards.
To provide a measurement of where things currently stand, a review was commissioned and the Permanent Secretary committed to its publication and release to the Scottish Parliament. The report - 'A Review of Information Management in the Scottish Government' – was published in June 2021 and had a key recommendation to 'Implement a corporate whole-of-government information management strategy.'
This strategy is the response to that commitment and provides a framework through which we can work together to meet our goal of making our management of information as good as it can – and indeed should - be. It sets out our approach to managing our knowledge and information at a local and corporate level, with appropriate checks and balances in place to ensure that this is carried out effectively.
To drive this forward, I have established an Information Governance Board (IGB) which will be chaired by me and draws senior representation from all DG families. This will become an embedded component of our wider corporate governance - reporting to the Executive Team and linking to other groups as appropriate.
However, each and every one of us – across grades and professions - has a role to play in managing our information as robustly and rigorously as we manage other corporate assets. Systems and processes play an important part, but they rely on us all making the cultural and behavioural changes which puts management of information squarely at the heart of the organisation.
Director General Corporate and SIRO (Senior Information Risk Owner)