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COPFS

Disciplinary action and suspensions

Freedom of information: Disciplinary action and suspensions

15 October 2013

Thank you for your e-mail dated 17 September in which you requested the following information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002:

"In 2012/13, how many COPFS employees faced disciplinary action?

 

In a breakdown, please include the position of each employee (ie junior fiscal, depute fiscal, senior depute fiscal, district fiscal, manager etc) nature of the misconduct and the action taken by COPFS.

Please provide the above information also for the years 2008/09; 2009/10; 2010/11 and 2011/12."

The number of staff who have faced disciplinary action in each of the last five years if broken down into categories by staff grade and nature of misconduct would be so small that it would lead to individuals being identified. I therefore consider that the information you have requested is personal information, exempt from release under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA, which read in conjunction with section 38(2)(a)(i) exempts information if it constitutes personal data, the disclosure of which would contravene any of the data protection principles as set out in the Data Protection Act 1998. This particular exemption is an absolute exemption and does not require the application of the public interest test.

However, I can advise you that the total number of staff who have been subject to disciplinary proceedings in each of the past five years is as follows:

2008/09

49

2009/10

4

2010/11

11

2011/12

9

2012/13

11

 


The categories of misconduct which led to the disciplinary proceedings included misuse of e-mail, breach of flexi, computer misuse, unprofessional behaviour and conviction of criminal charges. All but one of the cases relating to a criminal charge were for drinking and driving.

The action taken ranged from no internal action, issuing of warning letters, downgrading and promotion bans, resignation and dismissal. Each case is considered on its own merits and the penalty takes into account the severity and impact of the incident and any mitigating circumstances put forward.