Annex B - summary of proposals

ANNEX B

SIMPLIFYING THE PUBLIC SECTOR: SUMMARY OF PROPOSALS

A. DECISIONS TO PROGRESS ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE

The following organisational changes will be delivered to contribute to the 25 per cent reduction in the number of national public sector organisations in this Parliament. Stakeholders will be involved in the implementation of these changes.

Proposal

Rationale

Abolish Communities Scotland as a separate agency and bring its main non-regulatory functions into the core Scottish Government. The regulatory functions will be reformed to operate outside the Government and independently of Ministers

The decision to implement this Manifesto Commitment was announced by Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing on 31 October 2007 following a review of Communities Scotland functions to achieve the most effective structures to respond to the housing policy challenges inherited. This decision is currently under implementation.

Rationalise Justice of the Peace Advisory Committees (NDPB) from 32 organisations to 6

The legislation effecting this change was progressed by previous administration to achieve more efficient and effective delivery and came into effect in December 2007. This has not been included in this Government's 25% reduction but will result in 26 fewer organisations, from the overall list of 199.

Amalgamate Scottish Arts Council/Scottish Screen in Creative Scotland

The establishment of Creative Scotland is part of the Government's current legislative programme and will achieve greater policy coherence and more efficient and effective delivery.

To integrate the Building Standards Agency into Scottish Government and bring together with Architecture and Planning Policy in a single integrated Directorate.

The SBSA will be integrated with core as part of a new Directorate for the Built Environment, which combines, architecture policy, building standards and planning. This will ensure a more integrated approach to the built environment.

Merge Scottish Agricultural Science Agency (SASA) and Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspection Directorate (SGRPID)

SASA provides the service based input and SGRPID the technical inspection input on a range of duties including plant health, seeds certification, pesticides etc. This merger will allow better integration of all of this work, clarify responsibilities in the eyes of the customer and enable close integration of business processes.

Sportscotland is to merge with the Scottish Institute of Sport (SIS), creating a new national organisation

This decision was announced by the Scottish Government on Wednesday 9 January in response to their Manifesto commitment. The new organisation will remove the layers of bureaucracy of the previous structure, making sure the interests of sport remain paramount.

Merge Scottish University for Industry (Learn Direct Scotland) Careers Scotland (part of Scottish Enterprise) and most of the skills and training functions of the enterprise networks to create Skills Development Scotland Ltd.

Streamlining functions into a single organisation to ensure Scotland's people have the skills they need for success. This proposal is under implementation.

Abolish Historic Environment Advisory Council for Scotland

This decision has been taken in line with the Government's approach to reducing the number of Advisory Bodies established to advise Scottish Ministers. Historic Scotland is responsible for advising Ministers on the historic environment and will ensure expert advice is provided.

Abolish Building Standards Advisory Committee

This decision has been taken in line with the Government's approach to reducing the number of Advisory Bodies established to advise Scottish Ministers. Expert advice on building standards will be obtained in other ways.

Transfer responsibility for the funding of education at the Scottish Agricultural College to the Scottish Funding Council

This change will streamline the funding of SAC by bringing it into the mainstream of further and higher education funding.

Abolish Advisory Committee on Sites of Special Scientific Interest (ACSSI) and transfer function to Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH)

SNH are responsible for safeguarding Scotland's Natural heritage and protecting sites of special scientific interest. It therefore makes sense that the functions of the Advisory Committee on Sites of Special Scientific Interest are transferred to SNH.

Abolish the Fire Service Inspectorate

The Government is planning to abolish the fire inspectorate to reduce duplication of audit of fire and rescue services. The Government will appoint, in place of the Chief Inspector, within government, a senior professional head of a fire and rescue service advisory unit who will be able to provide independent advice to Ministers and the fire and rescue services, and to provide an independent challenge function where necessary.

Not to establish the Scottish Civil Enforcement Commission

The functions can be delivered by other existing organisations.


B. PROPOSALS FOR ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE

20. The Scottish Government will consult stakeholders on the detail of the organisational change before progressing the implementation within the term of the Parliament to meet the 25 per cent reduction in the number of national public sector organisations.

This decision will help deliver a simplified and more flexible basis for advisory input from business on a wider range of public sector grants and help achieve a greater integration with wider enterprise related reforms.

Proposal

Rationale

Bring together into a single national body the various bodies involved in supporting, organising and delivering the Children's Hearings system. This will be done in such a way as to ensure continued local delivery and the independence of the decision-making functions within the system.

In 2004, under the previous administration, stakeholders were invited to consider whether the supporting structure of the children's hearings system should be either a national body or a regionally based operation. Respondents favoured either the status quo (which was not an option) or a national body. This Government announced its intention to progress the creation of a single national organisation on 18 January 2008. This decision will lead to more effective and efficient delivery, strengthening the Children's Hearings system in line with the manifesto commitment.

Bring together into a single national body the various bodies involved in supporting, organising and delivering the Children's Hearings system. This will be done in such a way as to ensure continued local delivery and the independence of the decision-making functions within the system.

In 2004, under the previous administration, stakeholders were invited to consider whether the supporting structure of the children's hearings system should be either a national body or a regionally based operation. Respondents favoured either the status quo (which was not an option) or a national body. This Government announced its intention to progress the creation of a single national organisation on 18 January 2008. This decision will lead to more effective and efficient delivery, strengthening the Children's Hearings system in line with the manifesto commitment.

Removing the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) NDPB status.Ending NDPB status for the GTCS would mean treating it instead entirely as a self regulating, profession-led body. GTCS receives no Government funding and is self-funding, via annual registration fees, which it can set at its own discretion.

Abolish Scottish Industrial Development Advisory Board

This decision will help deliver a simplified and more flexible basis for advisory input from business on a wider range of public sector grants and help achieve a greater integration with wider enterprise related reforms.

Abolish Scottish Records Advisory Council

We will abolish the Scottish Records Advisory Council, as we believe the advice it provides can better be obtained from other sources. The decision is in line with the Government's approach to reducing the number of Advisory Bodies established to advise Scottish Ministers. Advice on public records and related matters can be more efficiently provided by informal consultation, co-ordinated by the National Archives of Scotland.

Support proposals to merge Rowett Research Institute with University of Aberdeen.

The Rowett Research Institute will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Aberdeen University to create a new Institute of Nutrition and Health. The merger will strengthen research capacity and international competitiveness and increase availability of scientific research for policy making.

Work with environmental and rural research organisations, notably the Macaulay and Scottish Crop Research Institutes, to encourage them to come together in a new Institute. Senior management of the Moredun Research Institute, Fisheries Research Services, and the Scottish Agricultural College will also be involved to take the opportunity of developing better integration of research in support of the Scottish Government's Rural, marine and environmental policies.

The purpose of this proposal is to strengthen Scotland's scientific research capacity and international scientific competitiveness and increase availability of scientific research for policy making. It could also offer greater financial stability.

To better protect Scotland's marine environment and streamline services which support vital Scottish industries, we will bring together functions from across public organisations into a single body, and improve and integrate marine management decision making.

This proposal would provide better integrated marine planning, policy and management. Drivers for greater integration include: growing demand on marine resources; EU and international obligations; environmental standards/improvement; recent recommendations from external reports, including the Scottish Parliament. This work will be guided by the Sustainable Seas Taskforce.

Merge Deer Commission with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH)

The Deer Commission's work is focused on the natural environment within which the deer live and this has close linkages with the focus of SNH

We will integrate the Fisheries Electricity Committee with SEPA This will create a more streamlined process for the authorisation of new hydro- electric developments.

FEC advises Ministers and developers on possible effect of hydro-electric power schemes on Fisheries. SEPA has responsibility for fresh water and FEC functions could be fulfilled through an advisory panel.

Bring together the Mobility Access Committee and Public Transport Users Committee

This decision will create a single streamlined and more effective organisation to represent the interests of all transport users in Scotland. In so doing, we will engage with key stakeholders to make certain that this change strengthens the voice of people with travel accessibility and mobility issues. This will include enhancing the PTUC board with 3 additional members with a understanding of accessibility and mobility matters to ensure the travel needs of disabled people are fully represented when making recommendations to Ministers on transport matters

Merge Mental Health Tribunal Administration Agency with the Mental Health Tribunal NDPB or bring the agency within core Government, pending a final decision on a streamlined tribunal service

Current arrangements separate the statutory responsibility for efficiency (in the Tribunal) from the financial accountabilities required of the Administration. Merger will create a more effective and efficient mental health tribunal structure by co-locating the duty of efficiency with the levers to make improvement.

C. FURTHER WORK TO SIMPLIFY, INTEGRATE AND SHARE SERVICES THROUGH CLOSER COLLABORATION

21. These proposals have not been counted towards the 25 per cent target but may in time lead to organisational change, or a reduction in the number of public service organisations. Work is progressing to integrate delivery, share services and increase collaborative working between organisations. Some of the proposals may also lead to reshaping responsibilities for public service functions. Work to develop and consult on these proposals will be undertaken with stakeholders.

Proposal

Rationale and Next Steps

Increased collaboration between the National Collections (National Galleries, National Museums, National Library).

Examination of ways of working more closely together to strengthen their impact in their national role, in supporting collections activity throughout Scotland, and in presenting Scotland to the world.

Review the role of the Risk Management .

We will review the role of the Risk Management Authority to determine whether integrating the functions into other bodies would improve the effectiveness of our systems for public safety.

Rationalise historic archival, recording and presentation functions examining functions and scope for streamlining across Royal Commission for Ancient and Historic Monuments, Historic Scotland and National Archives of Scotland and an increased connection with Scotland's People

Propose further engagement with sector on the options to streamline the archival, recording and presentation functions of Scotland's heritage. Options to be developed with stakeholders.

Continue to support the partnership between the General Register Office for Scotland, the National Archives of Scotland, The Court of the Lord Lyon through Scotland's People

Family historians benefit from an informal partnership between these 3 public bodies which are most important to their researches. The partnership offers a single website - and, from the summer, a single Family History Centre in Edinburgh - where the digitised records of all 3 bodies are available. It is a world leader in its field

Examine the role of Learning Teaching Scotland in light of the establishment of Skills Development Scotland Ltd and the developing roles of national and local Government.

Review of whether functions presently undertaken by LTS might now best be undertaken elsewhere within the public sector, for example whether there is any overlap with the functions of Skills Development Scotland.

Examine the scope to achieve an integrated approach to public health in Scotland.

Further work is required to develop and then consult on this proposal to minimise duplication across public agencies and increase interaction with the key customers and the professionals on the ground delivering health improvement activities

Remove need for two National Parks each to be a single employer

Further work is required to develop and then consult on this proposal which would reduce the cost of corporate services by devising a single employer servicing both Boards.

Review the Scottish Agricultural Wages Board (SAWB)

Work is needed to review the functions and processes of the SAWB in the context of national minimum wage structures and to consult stakeholders on achieving the most effective processes.

Review the operation and administration of Tribunals in Scotland.

There is a range of tribunals operating in Scotland, of varying sizes, and each with stand-alone administrative support. A review of administrative justice chaired by Lord Philips will report shortly, following which we will develop proposals to streamline the operation and administration of tribunals in Scotland.This will take account of Lord Gill's review of the civil courts, and consider the relationship between tribunals operating in devolved and reserved areas.

Examine the scope to increase joined up decision making in the processes across public sector bodies to consider development proposals.

A number of public bodies are statutory consultees on local plans and individual developments. A group will be established to look at the scope to streamline the engagement of statutory consultees in the development planning and development management processes.

The group will involve the Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Historic Scotland (HS), Transport Scotland and Scottish Water together with representatives of business and local government

Create a single environmental and rural delivery service for shared customers.

The core proposal is based on a shared delivery service to land managers, which improves service primarily by moving the complexity of multiple organisations away from the customer (the organisations identify which specialisms need to be involved and co-ordinate for the customer), and by co-ordinating inspections. Work is underway to implement the proposal.

Refine the responsibilities of Architecture and Design Scotland (A+DS) within the reshaped built environment sector.

A+DS is the national champion for good design in the built environment and provides independent design advice. To improve effectiveness of delivery A+DS will move towards a more outcome focused approach, working in partnership with Government and other organisations involved in change and development in the built environment.

The development of an outcome approach for public bodies.

To set out the direction and expectation of the Scottish Government in supporting the delivery of our strategic objectives. This approach should give greater clarity to public bodies on what the Scottish Government, expect of them, for example including issues such as improving environmental performance and enabling sustainable economic growth, and, at the same time, provide more room for manoeuvre to innovate to achieve outcomes

Reduction in number of local and regional partnerships required by Government

Further work, with local government, at a national and sub-national level to reduce the number of partnerships which this Government requires and to examine the scope for further integration in other parts of the delivery landscape, including small or regional organisations

Progress simplification in handling of scrutiny and complaints.

Professor Crerar's review into the scrutiny of public services found overlap and duplication in the way public bodies are scrutinised and complaints handled. The Government will work with the Scottish Parliament's Corporate Body and with local government to come forward with proposals for a substantial reduction in the number of bodies with a scrutiny role as a means of better delivering better, more streamlined scrutiny arrangements.