HOW WE WILL DELIVER THE CORPORATE PLAN
As an executive agency of the Scottish Executive, Transport Scotland is committed to the principle of open and transparent government. Transport Scotland complies with the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (â€™the Actâ€™) which came into force on 1 January 2005, the purpose of which is to make information held by Scottish public bodies more accessible to the public. By June 2006 Transport Scotland will produce a Publication Scheme which describes which information it will routinely publish. We will publish the scheme on the Transport Scotland website: www.transportscotland.gov.uk. Transport Scotland is also bound to provide advice and assistance to anyone who requests information which it holds, under the requirements of the Act.
Transport Scotland aims to deliver its business objectives as effectively as possible and to the highest standard, whilst also working as efficiently as possible, avoiding unnecessary processes and bureaucracy. To help it do this it will regularly review and improve where required:
- Procurement management and systems to deliver best client value.
- Where relevant, partnership working to secure common project aims.
- Business processes to improve internal efficiency.
This requires a culture of continuous improvement, and integral to that is a meaningful performance measurement regime, so that we can readily measure our success. On behalf of the Chief Executive, Finance and Corporate Services Directorate has the overall responsibility for monitoring efficiency in Transport Scotland.
The Scottish Executive is committed to the vision of an open, just and inclusive Scotland where respect and understanding are fostered and where everyone is encouraged and enabled to live, work and take part in society to their full potential, free from prejudice and discrimination.
This, in turn, requires a commitment to mainstreaming â€” meaning that equalities issues are taken into account at all stages in developing policy and delivering services, not bolted on to the end of the process. To do this we must also consult effectively with our customers, to ensure equality issues are properly taken into account.
Everyone involved in transport policy in Scotland at the national, regional and local level is responsible for ensuring that, when developing policy or making decisions about service delivery, full account has been taken of the 6 strands of equalities which the Scottish Executive is committed to mainstreaming:
- Sexual Orientation.
- Faith, or Religious Belief.
As a public body and part of the Scottish Executive, Transport Scotland is committed to achieving this vision. During the Corporate Plan 2006-08 period, it will:
- Review how it delivers its business objectives to ensure they are compliant with equalities good practice, and both existing and developing legislative requirements.
- Publish, by June 2006, its Equalities Action Plan, setting out how it will adjust or improve its compliance with equalities best practice and legislation. This Plan will be evaluated to ensure we are meeting our commitments.
- Contribute to the Scottish Executiveâ€™s Equalities Vision â€” which itself is continually evolving.
Our impact on the environment is a major consideration for Transport Scotland in delivering our business objectives. In common with other public bodies, we must ensure that the full environmental impacts of all our new strategies, programmes and plans are properly considered in line with the requirements of the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005. (The Act transposes EU requirements into Scots law.)
In addition to the statutory impact assessments for specific projects we advise Scottish Ministers on environmental impacts, backed by appropriate research, to assist them in their decisions about strategic priorities for rail and trunk roads.
Sometimes the environment, in turn, has a direct impact on us â€” for example severe weather can damage or block road and rail links. Two studies were published in 2005 which looked at this. One focused on the potential trends in climate change in Scotland and identified the detailed implications for the operation and management of road networks. The second concerned landslips, took stock of the present situation on the Scottish trunk road network and determined a suitable approach to the management of such occurrences in the future.
Since 2004, the Executive has been working with public bodies in Scotland to improve the environmental management of their estates (buildings, land etc) and operations (how they run themselves). This includes asking executive agencies and other public bodies to review their working policies and put in place by March 2006 environmental policies and realistic targets for reducing impact on the environment â€” for example, reducing waste and energy consumption. We will include these targets in our Business Plan 2006â€”07.
Transport Scotland has huge responsibilities â€” for efficiency, safety and prudent use of public money on the rail and trunk roads systems, and in running the national concessionary travel schemes. Possible impacts of risk are:
- Less efficient and safe rail and trunk roads.
- Capital projects running over time and/or budget.
- Increased traffic congestion, caused by either or both of the above.
- Inability to access or use travel concessions by the people eligible to use them.
The 6 high level risks to Transport Scotland in delivering its business aims would arise from failure to:
- Take on and carry out the devolved rail powers.
- Ensure First ScotRail runs rail services in Scotland to required standards.
- Manage and maintain the trunk road network.
- Deliver the capital investment programme on time and to budget.
- Retain and recruit staff with the right skills and experience.
- Establish and run the national concessionary travel schemes properly.
The Chief Executive is responsible for implementing and monitoring appropriate risk management arrangements. Transport Scotland will have a risk management strategy which sets out a clear system for identifying, managing and mitigating risk. In summary the strategy will incorporate:
- Existing risk management arrangements.
- An up-to-date risk register.
- Appropriate measures in place to mitigate risk.
- Regular reviews by the senior management team of the risk register.
- Prioritised risks in order to escalate them to appropriate levels within Transport Scotland, the wider Scottish Executive and Scottish Ministers so that any necessary action can be taken.
- An annual review, and updating if appropriate, of the risk management strategy.
Major projects which are promoted by Transport Scotland and third parties impact directly or indirectly on other modes of transport. We employ a tier of project and programme managers to ensure day to day control and regularly monitor these projects at project review boards to ensure that the projects and the overall project portfolio are delivered to time and budget.
The 2004 UK Rail Review and the resulting 2005 UK Railways Act fundamentally changed delivery mechanisms throughout the UK for various aspects of the rail industry. We are closely monitoring the delivery of the functions inherited as a consequence of this legislation. Not delivering these functions would have a major impact on the availability of the network to the public on and our ability to attract freight from the roads onto the railways. These would have a knock on impact on the road network and levels of congestion.
In April 2006 Transport Scotland will launch the Free Bus Scheme for older and disabled people. Transport Scotland will then be responsible for auditing returns made by the bus and ferry operators for reasonableness in terms of number of journeys and the average adult fare claimed; and to minimise the risk of fraud.
Having the right people and skills in place, and continuing to develop those skills, is the overarching imperative for managing risk effectively. Without those people and skills Transport Scotland cannot deliver its business objectives effectively. During 2005 we recruited new skills and experience in rail (performance, delivery and strategic know-how) and road engineering for the organisation. We will regularly review our Human Resources services to ensure they meet the professional development needs of our staff, both as individuals and to ensure we can deliver our business objectives properly. We also use tools like Workforce Planning (horizon scanning to plan our long-term staff requirements) and invest in training and development to enhance and nurture the significant body of skills and experience held by our staff.
HOW WE WILL MONITOR DELIVERY AND MEASURE SUCCESS
Day-to-day operational responsibilities are delegated to the Chief Executive who is in turn directly accountable to the Minister for Transport. The Transport Scotland Framework Document sets out these accountability mechanisms in detail. To ensure proper accountability the Chief Executive will normally be asked to represent Scottish Ministers at Parliamentary Committee hearings on matters relating to Transport Scotlandâ€™s delegated responsibilities.
The Chief Executive is required to sign and present an Annual Report and Accounts to Scottish Ministers, to be laid before the Scottish Parliament. This document will include a report on Transport Scotlandâ€™s performance against its objectives and targets. Transport Scotland will keep proper accounts and records as defined in the Government Financial Reporting Manual and Scottish Public Finance Manual.
As a new organisation, Transport Scotland will develop a strong performance measurement regime covering business and project reviews and internal and external audit of procedures and processes. Transport Scotland will be subject to external audit by the Auditor General for Scotland. The Chief Executive is responsible for arranging internal audit mechanisms, in accordance with the objectives and standards laid down in the Government Internal Audit Manual and in a way which demonstrates best value for money.
Transport Scotland will have an Audit Committee to review the outputs and recommendations flowing from the external and internal audit procedures. It is the responsibility of each Director to review regularly the projects managed under their Directorates to ensure that milestones and outputs are being achieved in line with the requirements to deliver Transport Scotlandâ€™s objectives. The Chief Executive is also putting in place procedures for individual project teams to present their projects to the senior management team.