Article Index

Summary of main points

  1. The SPCB recommended reappointment of SPSO without being informed of the full factual situation.
  2. Parliament, its committees and its staff are reliant on full and accurate facts from the bodies under their supervision; the SPSO demonstrably uses positive appraisal, emphasizing the positive and ignoring the negative.
  3. The SPSO removed the only (partly) independent check and balance in the system by not re-employing the Craigforth company to analyse and report on the work of the SPSO.
  4. In the Craigforth survey for 2010 at least 70% of the volunteered responses indicated dissatisfaction with the SPSO, with 21% of the cases in question regarded as not being investigated thoroughly.
  5. Like complainants, bodies under jurisdiction are also critical of the quality of the SPSO’s investigations and subsequent reports.
  6. The SPSO has four elements in the reporting of procedure, governance and supervision, but no quality control or supervision of either the adequacy or the effectiveness of its investigations in the delivery of administrative justice in its rulings.
  7. In contrast, Criminal Justice has many more stages of checks and balances in the delivery of justice – from trained police officers, to superior officer, to procurators fiscal, sheriffs, defence and possible appeal.
  8. Audit Scotland has not investigated the adequacy, effectiveness and justice of the SPSO’s rulings since the SPSO was set up ten years ago. Nobody has.