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COPFS Secondments (R010215)

Freedom of Information: COPFS Secondments (R010215)

Thank you for your request dated 17 April 2015 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for the undernoted information:

“The COFS second workers to other Scottish Public Authorities for short and long term work secondments to obtain valuable work experience. This request relates to such personal development policy, of synergy benefit to all bodies. 

RFI's 
(1) Please confirm are such secondments subject to a Contract for Service with the other Public Body or what Agreements are put in place with the employee and the other Authority; 
(2) Does the COFS employee remain an 'employee' during the secondment and solely a worker for the other body;
(3) Precisely, how is this contractually managed in terms of existing COFS Contracts of Employment; 
(4) Do the COFS continue to pay the normal salary to their employee and how is overtime, travel and business expenses incurred whilst working for the other authority reimbursed; 
(5) In terms of the positive obligation owed to the COFS in terms of 'confidentiality', are these employees bound by they cannot disclose any information obtained under previous service to the COFS, and how is this securely managed; 
(6) Does any inventions, creative ideas or information obtained during the period of secondment service belong to the COFS, the other Public Body or is this jointly owned and how is this managed; 
(7) How is the positive obligation of confidentiality owed to the other body managed as part of the secondment i.e. Is this part of any secondment agreement, covered by COFS existing or revision to the Contract of Employment; or is this a matter for agreement between the other body and the seconded worker under the other authorities' corporate governance; 
(8) How is the reporting lines managed for secondments i.e. Is this dual/ co-owned whereby the COFS employee still has a fixed reporting line into COFS and a dotted line of being under the day to day supervision of the other authority &c. Please confirm how this is precisely structured, operated and managed; and 
(9) How are the COFS employees' personal development and work performance appraisals managed for such secondments i.e. Is this dual/ co-owned and how is this precisely operated and managed.”

I have now completed a search for the information you request and I have responded to each of your numbered questions below:

(1) Please confirm are such secondments subject to a Contract for Service with the other Public Body or what Agreements are put in place with the employee and the other Authority. 

Secondments will be subject to a secondment agreement between COPFS and the organisation the employee will be seconded to.  This will outline the terms and conditions of the secondment. These can vary depending on the secondment.

(2) Does the COFS employee remain an 'employee' during the secondment and solely a worker for the other body. The secondee will retain their employment with COPFS throughout any agreed secondment. 

(3) Precisely, how is this contractually managed in terms of existing COFS Contracts of Employment. A secondment agreement would be considered a variation to the employees COPFS contract which they would consent to.

(4) Do the COFS continue to pay the normal salary to their employee and how is overtime, travel and business expenses incurred whilst working for the other authority reimbursed. Salary would be subject to the terms of the secondment agreement.  It may be that a secondee remains on COPFS payroll and COPFS will invoice the organisation, or the secondee would move over onto the seconded organisation’s payroll.  Business expenses incurred as part of the secondment would normally be payable by the organisation the employee is seconded to.

(5) In terms of the positive obligation owed to the COFS in terms of 'confidentiality', are these employees bound by they cannot disclose any information obtained under previous service to the COFS, and how is this securely managed. All Civil Servants are bound by the Official Secrets Act and would be expected to adhere to confidentiality as appropriate. 

(6) Does any inventions, creative ideas or information obtained during the period of secondment service belong to the COFS, the other Public Body or is this jointly owned and how is this managed. There is no recorded information held by COPFS which specifically addresses this question, however, under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, works made by civil servants in the course of their official duties are subject to Crown copyright protection. The responsibility for the management and licensing of Crown copyright rests with the Queen’s Printer for Scotland in accordance with the Scotland Act 1998. The Controller of HMSO, in his or her role as Queen’s Printer, and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland, authorises the Information Policy team of the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) to manage and license the re-use of Crown Copyright on her behalf.

(7) How is the positive obligation of confidentiality owed to the other body managed as part of the secondment i.e. Is this part of any secondment agreement, covered by COFS existing or revision to the Contract of Employment; or is this a matter for agreement between the other body and the seconded worker under the other authorities' corporate governance. This would be outlined in the secondment agreement.  Normally, a secondee would be bound by the organisations policies on these matters for the period of the secondment.

(8) How is the reporting lines managed for secondments i.e. Is this dual/ co-owned whereby the COFS employee still has a fixed reporting line into COFS and a dotted line of being under the day to day supervision of the other authority &c. Please confirm how this is precisely structured, operated and managed; and

(9) How are the COFS employees' personal development and work performance appraisals managed for such secondments i.e. Is this dual/ co-owned and how is this precisely operated and managed.

In answer to both questions 8 and 9, this would be dependent on the nature of the secondment.  Normally, the secondee would be managed on a day to day basis by the seconded organisation and that would include informal and sometimes formal appraisal depending on the length of the secondment.  Upon returning to COPFS, their performance in the secondment organisation would be taken into consideration when awarding a performance marking for the year. A handover / ‘hand back’ between managers in COPFS and the secondment organisation are encouraged.