Minutes of the Audit and Risk Committee – July 2022

First published

07 Dec 2022

Last updated

07 Dec 2022

COPFS and QLTR Audit and Risk Committee

Minutes of the meeting held on 6 July 2022
(via MS Teams)



  • Robert Tinlin - Non-Executive Director (Chair)
  • David Watt - Non-Executive Director
  • Vanessa Davies - Non-Executive Director

In attendance

  • David Harvie - Crown Agent, Chief Executive and COPFS Accountable Officer
  • Robert Sandeman - QLTR Accountable Officer
  • Esther Scoburgh - Senior Audit Manager, Audit Scotland
  • Keith Dargie - COPFS Chief Digital Officer and Head of Business Services
  • Katie Gibson - Audit Scotland QLTR Lead
  • Jim Montgomery - Audit Manager, SG Internal Audit Directorate
  • William Wilkie - Senior Auditor, SG Internal Audit Directorate
  • Marlene Anderson - COPFS Director of Finance and Procurement
  • Ian Palmer - COPFS Secretariat


  • Gillian Woolman - Audit Director, Audit Scotland
  • Sharon Davies - COPFS Head of Management Accounting and Planning

Welcome / Declarations of interest and feedback on pre-meetings

The Chair welcomed the group.

There were no declarations of interest.

There had been no pre-meetings.

Minutes of previous meeting

The draft minutes of the ARC meeting held on 25 May 2022 were approved.


Secretariat to arrange for the approved minutes to be published on COPFS website.

COPFS ARC Action Tracker and Action Tracker re HMIPS CAAPs Report

The ARC Action Tracker was approved.

Agreed that Item 21 (HMIPS Report re CAAPs) can now be removed from the tracker as it
will form part of the substantive agenda for future ARC meetings.

ARC Paper (2022) (Progress with HMIPS Report on COPFS management of CAAPs) was noted. ARC welcomed the paper and felt it was very useful.

In relation to action-point 4 (Publication of role of COPFS in CAAPS) ARC requested that the
wording of the update on progress be aligned with the original recommendation.


Secretariat have invited SMcG to attend ARC in November 2022 and will request that he provides clarification regarding HMIP action-point 4.

Audit trackers

Internal Audit Tracker

ARC Paper 24 (22) was noted.

In relation to Information Management Assurance Phase 2 ARC felt the update required more specific detail in relation to progress.

KD advised extensive work is ongoing in the various strands of corporate information
management and assurance. The framework document to be produced by end August will set out key deliverables, timescales and alignment with the Information Assurance Group and other corporate governance. Further details can also be found at item 20 on the action tracker ARC Paper 23 (2022). KD also agreed to provide Secretariat with an additional tracker update.

General discussion about potential disconnect between papers provided to ARC and Exec


KD to send Secretariat text of update in relation to Information Management Assurance Phase 2 including timelines.

KD to issue ARC with paper on Information Management Strategy once completed.

KD to arrange update report to be given to ARC November meeting in relation to Strategic Relations and Communications (recommendation 1)

KD to issue copy of paper in relation to various aspects of portfolio and programme management plans

External Audit Tracker

ARC Paper 25 (2022) was approved.

It was agreed that the action point 6 (publication of minutes on COPFS website) is now in hand and can be removed from the tracker as a completed action.

COPFS update

DH (CA) gave a general update which included:

Resource Spending Review and associated risks discussed.

COPFS welcome the additional funding to support the creation of the COPFS COVID Deaths Investigation Unit.

Court Recovery remains variable with the changing pattern of COVID waves.

Liaison work continues with CJ partners to advance the Court Recovery programme.

QLTR update and Property Transfer Scheme

BS gave a general update

Business Volumes analysis compared with last year are significantly higher. Significant increase in companies restoring. BS is continuing to analyse trends and will update ARC as position develops.

Multi-agency group to be set up with first meeting in September 2022. Invitees include
QLTR, Companies House, Police Scotland, HMRC, Insolvency Service, and SOCU.

Data Sharing Strategy issues were discussed.
Property Transfer Scheme

RF gave an overview:

QLTR are looking forward to liaising with Audit Scotland in relation to PTS.

10 pilots have been started covering various scenarios and giving a good range of insights.

One pilot has concluded successfully with an auction going over bid.

Liaising with a range of agencies in preparation for drafting of consultation paper.

PTS on track for go live in Spring of 2023.

Successful recruitment campaign for members of PTS Team.

PTS Risk Register has been devised and incorporated into QLTR Risk Register

General discussion followed.

Approval and recommendation to sign the COPFS Annual Accounts 2021-2022

Subject to the inclusion of proposed updates and amendments, the Committee approved and recommended the signing of the COPFS Annual Accounts for 2021-2022.

Finance update

MA gave an overview of ARC Paper 26 (2022).

General discussion in relation to Annual Accounts.

Budget 22/23

Various modelling and control mechanisms are being explored and an options paper has been drafted for SET.

Heads of Business Management along with Finance Business Partners are scrutinising all
staffing and non-staffing costs to identify savings and ensure accuracy of forecasts.

Forecasts against budgets to be analysed in coming days.

Resource Spending Review (RSR)

The RSR was published on 31 May 2022 at the following link: investing-scotlands-future-resource-spending-review.pdf

It was noted that although this isn’t the final budget allocations for the relevant years, it represents a challenging funding outlook. COPFS is modelling various scenarios against this backdrop to assess impacts and associated risks.

During the general discussion that followed it was proposed for Risk Management purposes
MA (DFP) would prepare a paper for the Risk Management Group (RMG) to outline the
position in relation to budget planning.


MA to produce a paper for RMG in relation to budget planning to inform Risk 1 in Corporate
Risk Register.


On track to transition to SPA from 1 December 2022.

External Audit of COPFS

Audit is progressing well with no changes proposed. Clearance meeting scheduled in August 2022.

Other matters

A bid for additional funding to establish the COVID Death Investigation Team has been
approved by SG.

External audit – Audit Scotland

ES gave a general update.

Audit of COPFS is almost completed and reports being drafted for completion meeting in
early August.

Clearance meeting held with QLTR and agreed final changes and updates. Final accounts for QLTR to be submitted.

Audit Scotland welcomed the paper received from QLTR in relation to Property Transfer

DIAA Update

Pathology Gateway Review dates are being planned and DIAA will give an update on this at ARC Accounts Meeting on 24 August 2022 or sooner if details are known.

Planning is taking place for the Crown Office Cyber Security Resilience Review likely to be
mid-September 2022 with an update to the November ARC Meeting. This is within the target date for completion of 31 March 2023.

ARC Annual Report 2021- 22

RT (Chair) presented ARC Paper 27 (2022) for noting. In relation to the section on QLTR (page 50 in meeting pack) DW clarified that the COPFS Risk Management Group do not
oversee any aspect of the QLTR Risk Register.

Assurance Mapping Framework Group 2

Assurance Mapping ARC Paper 28 (2022) was discussed, and the following observations made:

High Court/SCG

As a significant part of the update related to matters due to be completed by the end of
August 2022, it was decided that this will be brought back to the November ARC.

Local Court Delivery

The committee felt that the paper was too generic and lacked a sufficient level of detail in
what has been done, governance controls and how the overall green assessment was evaluated. During general conversation it was noted that as part of the overall controls COPFS receive an annual certificate of control and assurance audited by Audit Scotland.

Update to be provided at November 2022 ARC.

Information Technology

ARC appreciated the balance of detail given in this update.

It was observed that the section relating to control effectiveness needs to be completed.

ES observed that the reference to Audit Scotland “audit of IT systems” might read better as “review of IT controls”

Risk Management

ARC noted the update.

The paper was agreed with the proviso that the High Court/SCG, Local Court and IT sections are updated and brought back to the November 2022 ARC.

Actions Arising:

Secretariat to contact SMcG to obtain HC/SCG update paper for November ARC

MA to contact John Logue (DCA) to obtain LC update paper (with details specified above) for November ARC

KD to populate IT control effectiveness section of assurance mapping update form.

AOB and date of next meeting

No additional items raised.

ARC will next meet on 24 August 2022 at 11 am (Accounts Meeting)

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