Minutes of the Resources Committee – 13 January 2021

First published

01 Jun 2021

Last updated

01 Jun 2021

Minutes of the Resources Committee – 13 January 2021


MembersJohn Logue, Deputy Crown Agent (Operational Support) (Chair)

  • Ian Walford, Deputy Chief Executive
  • Graham Kerr, Head of Business Management (Local Court)
  • Bill Comrie, Head of Business Management (Serious Casework)
  • Jonathan Shebioba, Director of Support Services
  • John Cooper, Non-Executive Director
  • Sarah Carter, HR Director
  • Marlene Anderson, Head of Finance
  • Sharon Davies, Head of Management Accounting and Planning

In attendance

  • Keith Dargie, Chief Digital Officer
  • Trevor Davidson, Secretariat


  • Doreen Crawford, Head of Workforce Planning and Reward
  • Mark Howells, Director of Finance and Procurement


The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting which, due to the current Coronavirus outbreak, was being conducted via Teams. The Committee welcomed Trevor Davidson who took over the Secretariat position from Kathy Brown

Minutes from meeting held on 27 November 2020

The Committee highlighted an additional action point, then agreed the minutes as an accurate record of the meeting.

Action Log

The Committee agreed the following amendments to the Action Log and noted progress with the remaining actions.

Actions 11 and 12 are both closed.

Finance Update

2020/21 Budget

The Head of Finance (HoF) discussed finance paper which included the key recent developments reflected in the forecast, including the uncertainty around the estimated litigation costs for 4 Major Cases.

HoF highlighted ongoing uncertain and unfunded pressures, which may affect the projected underspend.

The HoF updated the Committee on the current position highlighting a forecast underspend of £1.4m and proposed deployment of funds.

Action: HR Director to confirm if more accurate legal costs can be confirmed to be fed into the budget.

2021/22 Budget

It was confirmed that bilateral meeting was being held today, and COPFS’s budget for 2021/22 should be released on 28th January 2021, which is the same day as the next Resources Committee Meeting.

Additional funding has been requested in 2020/21’s budget, which includes additional staff, and to support the increase of court capacity for clearing the backlog of cases.

Estates Update

The Director Support Services (DSS) provided a verbal update. He advised staff had now been informed of the Executive Board’s (EB) decision to close the Ayr office when the lease ends on 14 May 2021. Refurbishment work for the Kilmarnock office to accommodate the extra staff was underway as were the plans to retain an office in shared estate next to the Ayr Sheriff Court. Both were progressing relatively smoothly.

Work is continuing with the plans and costings for the possibility of locating all Edinburgh staff within the Crown Office through possible refurbishment, re-desking and blended working. A formal paper will be submitted to the Committee on this.

Work is continuing as a result of COVID-19 with meetings rooms currently being reconfigured. He advised expenditure remains as forecasted and that he was not expecting any overspend. He will continue to liaise with ISD with regards to additional projects should any potential Capital underspend be available this FY.

Capital investment for Digital Strategy

Chief Digital Officer (CDO) discussed their paper for essential digital solutions for 2021/22, and items which could be brought forward to 2020/21. The Committee recommended that CDO increased the priority of laptops due to the potential number of new entrants in 2021-22.

Action: Committee to agree any additional funding by 28th January 2021, and advise CDO of the outcome.

All other business

3 Offices were highlighted as requiring urgent refurbishment costing approximately

£90K (30K per office). As a number of staff were working from home, it was suggested that this could be a suitable time to carry out the works to cause the least disruption.

Action: Committee to confirm if funding would be available by 28 January 2021 to allow work to be completed by 31st March 2021.

Date of the next meeting: 28 January 2021

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