Who we Are

Who we Are

This Plan lays out a challenging set of delivery commitments for transport in Scotland. Our people are our most important asset and are key to delivering these priorities.

Transport Scotland - Organisation

Transport Scotland is part of the Scottish Government. Its strategy, funding investment decisions and priorities are set by Ministers. A key function of the Agency is to support Ministers, advising on a range of transport policies and projects.

As an Executive Agency the Chief Executive is accountable for the operation of and the delivery of the Agency's work, and has certain operational flexibilities within the Scottish Government's aegis. The details of these arrangements are set out in a Framework Document which is reviewed and updated as required, and published on the Agency website.

Organisation Vision and Role

The existing Scottish Government transport vision in Scotland is:

"An accessible Scotland with safe, integrated and reliable transport that supports sustainable economic growth under the Scottish Government Purpose, provides opportunities for all and is easy to use; a transport system that meets everyone's needs, respects our environment and contributes to health and wellbeing; services recognised internationally for quality, technology and innovation, and for effective and well-maintained networks; a culture where fewer short journeys are made by car, where we favour public transport, walking and cycling because they are safe and sustainable, where transport providers and planners respond to the changing needs of businesses, communities and users, and where one ticket will get you anywhere."

The role of Transport Scotland to help deliver this vision, is as follows:

  • Our role is to support delivery of the Scottish Government's Purpose and vision for sustainable transport in Scotland, making a real difference for people and businesses using the national transport systems

Transport Scotland continues to operate on the basis of five core Working Principles:

  • Strive to continuously improve in transport delivery, both nationally and internationally
  • Promote transport integration
  • Maintain a clear outward focus on the needs of transport users
  • Work in partnership with other transport providers and wider government in our planning and delivery
  • Make the most efficient use of public resources, and equip our staff to do the best possible job

Variable Message Sign on M90 southbound
Variable Message Sign on M90 southbound © Crown copyright

Transport Scotland is subject to regular Business Reviews with the Minister for Housing and Transport, and more detailed annual targets and performance indicators for each year are set out in the Annual Business Plan, which is updated each year.

Our People

We have a diverse range of people throughout our organisation, all of whom provide an important mix of skills and knowledge. This variety is essential in creating the right environment for individuals to continue to thrive and be successful. We will undertake a fresh skills analysis to ensure we have the right support in place for individual, team and directorate development, promoting the use of flexible programmes of learning across our organisation, underpinned by relevant professional support where required.

Our policies on recruitment and performance management ensure we have the right people in the right places, with the right skills and experience at the right time, matching our resources to our future needs. We seek to develop a flexible and responsive structure that enables us to respond quickly to Ministers' needs, priority concerns and meet public expectations.

We continually measure employee engagement and have identified key areas of continuous improvement at all levels. We seek to make working for Transport Scotland meaningful and more rewarding, connecting with clarity each individual's work to that of the wider organisation. We also recognise the importance of wellbeing and seek to enable staff to lead full and balanced lives at work and at home.

Efficient Government

We will deliver our priorities by working as efficiently as possible, reducing duplication, bureaucracy and overlap. To help us do this we will regularly review and improve our:

  • Procurement management and systems to deliver best client value
  • Partnership working to secure common project aims
  • Business processes to improve internal efficiency

We are committed to managing our resources transparently and effectively in order to deliver as efficient an operation as possible, and to shape how we operate and meet our objectives within the context of the Scottish Government's Workforce 2015 initiative.

Open Government

As an executive agency of the Scottish Government, Transport Scotland is committed to the principle of open and transparent government. Transport Scotland complies with the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and has produced a Publication Scheme which describes which information it will routinely publish.

Annual Business Plans

The Transport Scotland Business Plan 2012-13 will be published following this Corporate Plan. This will set out in detail how Transport Scotland will deliver the delivery commitments set out above relevant to that year.

Edinburgh Waverley Station
Edinburgh Waverley Station © Crown copyright

Promoting Equalities

We are committed to 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 and everyone is treated with dignity and respect. Our staff will uphold the Civil Service values, with the highest standards of integrity and ethics. During the period of this plan we will:

  • Refresh the membership and remit of our internal equality network
  • Review our Equalities Action Plan
  • Actively contribute to the Equality work of the Scottish Government
  • Review how we deliver our business objectives ensuring they meet equalities best practice and legislation

Carbon Management

Transport Scotland has a carbon management plan, which sets out steps and targets for reducing our office-based operational carbon footprint by end December 2013, against the baseline year 2010. The carbon footprint encompasses building energy consumption, staff business travel, staff commute travel and office waste. The Transport Scotland Travel Plan 2010-13 is a component of the carbon management plan.

Risk Management

Transport Scotland has major responsibilities for efficiency, safety and prudent use of public money on the rail, trunk roads, other public transport systems, and in running the national concessionary travel schemes. The Chief Executive is responsible for implementing and monitoring appropriate risk management arrangements.

Transport Scotland has an independently chaired Audit and Risk Committee, which supports the Chief Executive in his responsibilities on issues of risk control, governance and associated assurance through a process of constructive challenge. This Committee reviews the outputs and recommendations flowing from the external and internal audit procedures. An internal risk management group supports the risk arrangements and risk management strategy which sets out a clear system for identifying, managing and mitigating risk.

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 programme portfolio are delivered to time and budget. We have a robust performance measurement regime so that we can readily measure progress.

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 will include a report on Transport Scotland's performance against its delivery priorities. Transport Scotland will keep proper accounts and records as defined in the Government Financial Reporting Manual and Scottish Public Finance Manual.

Transport Scotland is 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.

Invergordon, Cromarty Firth
Invergordon, Cromarty Firth © Scotavia Images

Bus Service Operators Grant
Bus Service Operators Grant © Stuart Nicol