Strategic Board minutes: June 2015

The Scottish Government’s strategic board is chaired by the permanent secretary and meets quarterly.

Attendees and apologies


Peter Housden (Chair), Alyson Stafford, Paul Gray, Ken Thomson, Leslie Evans, Graeme Dickson, Sarah Davidson, Janet Hamblin, Catherine Dyer, Christina Allon, Linda McKay, Alex Smith, Gary Gillespie, Carol Tannahill

In attendance

James Hynd, David Rogers, Barbara Allison, Chris Stark, Jess Roscoe

Items and actions


13:00 Minutes of SB(15)1st Meeting and Action Tracker

13:05 UK General Election

13:45 Updates on priorities of Government and Programme for Government

14:00 Future Leaders update

14:15 Audit & Risk

  • The Scottish Government’s Strategic Risk Register

14:30 Break

14:45 Scottish Government Finance Report

15:00 Business Strategy and Corporate Board Reports

  • Business Strategy Progress report (including updates from the People, Resources, Improvement Boards), quarterly report
  • Corporate Board reports
  • report on deliverables of the Constitutional, Economy and Finance Boards
  • reports
  • report of Chief Economist
  • DG Reports (SB(15)14)

15:25 AOB

15:30 Close


Please note that parts of the record of discussion are considered exempt from publication and have been redacted.

Welcome and introduction

The Permanent Secretary welcomed all to this Strategic Board (SB) meeting.

Leslie Evans and Alex Smith each provided a few warm words to mark this, the Permanent Secretary’s last SB.

Minutes of SB(15)1st Meeting and Action Tracker

Alyson Stafford requested an amendment to of the minutes and associated tracker item. The minutes and Action Tracker have been updated to reflect this.

The minutes of SB meeting on 5 March 2015 were approved.

The terms of the Action Tracker were noted.

UK General Election – Where Are We

David Rogers provided a short presentation on the outcome of the UK General Election in May. This was followed by a round-table discussion on the subject.

Updates on priorities of Government and Programme for Government

Sarah Davidson updated SB on the priorities of Government meetings.

On Programme for Government, James Hynd assured SB that SG was monitoring and delivering. SB noted that SG has been accredited by the Office of Programme Management.

Future Leaders

Chris Stark provided a summary of the RBS SLF Future Leaders Event which took place at RBS Gogarburn on 27 May.

Chris reported the event had achieved its main aims of bringing together a group to discuss the economic landscape, create a future leaders’ network, to facilitate leadership learning and secure agreement to participate in the Leadership Exchange Programme.

Audit and Risk

The Scottish Government’s Strategic Risk Register (SB(15)09)

Particular discussion on Risk 3, Risk 6 and Risk 4.

The Scottish Government Finance Report (SB(15)10)

Alyson Stafford introduced the SG Finance Report.

Business Strategy and Corporate Boards

Business Strategy Progress Report (SB(15)11)

In relation to specific success criteria (SCs) in the Business Strategy Progress Report (BSPR):


  • SG has been successful in achieving the Investors in Young People Good Practice Award
  • SG received more applications than it had places for in its Modern Apprentice Programme and are consequently looking at ways of widening opportunities for young people


  • directors are looking at capability planning and work is underway on future planning
  • processes have and continue to be streamlined
  • recent work on refocusing has been of benefit in understanding where cost savings can be made

Corporate Board Reports (SB(15)12)

SB indicated they preferred the new format of Corporate Board Reports, which brings them in line with format of the BSPR.


Report of the Chief Economist (SB(15)13)

Gary Gillespie introduced the Report of the Chief Economist and advised SB of the forthcoming publication on ‘The State of the Economy’ on 5 June.

DG Reports (SB(15)14)

SB noted the DG Reports.

More information

The Strategic Board oversee's the governance of the civil service, and is chaired by the Permanent Secretary. It includes:

  • six Director-Generals (DGs)
  • the Chief Scientific Advisor
  • the Chief Economic Advisor
  • the Chief Executive of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS)
  • three Non Executive Directors.

Minutes are published quarterly.

strategic board minutes thursday 04 june 2015.pdf



Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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