Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010: statement for 2013-14

Scottish Law Commission Return for Financial Year 2013/14 

March 2014

Under the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 the Commission has, along with other public bodies in Scotland, a duty to publish annual public statements relating to our expenditure in the following areas: 

  • Public relations
  • Overseas travel
  • Hospitality and entertainment
  • External consultancy

There are further duties to publish certain information relating to the purchasing of goods, the remuneration of employees and the steps we have taken to improve efficiency, effectiveness and economy in our performance as well as the promotion of sustainable growth.

Our statement covering the financial year 2013-14 (1/4/2013–31/3/2014) is set out below: 

Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010

Scottish Law Commission Expenditure for Financial Year 2013/14


Spend 2013/14

Public Relations


Overseas Travel


Hospitality and Entertainment


External Consultancy


Payments with a value in excess of £25,000


Remunerations received in excess of £150,000



Promotionof sustainable growth through the exercise of our functions

The Scottish Law Commission has a statutory function: to recommend to Ministers ways of simplifying, updating and improving the law of Scotland.  Most of our work is carried out in accordance with our Programme of Law Reform.  The Programme is prepared following extensive consultation, including discussions with Government. The Programme is submitted to Scottish Ministers for approval, and is laid before the Scottish Parliament. The Commission also from time to time receives references from Ministers to carry out law reform projects. In exercising these functions the Commission seeks to contribute to the promotion of sustainable growth as follows -

  • The Commission's business planning takes account of the Scottish Government's purpose: namely  to focus Government and public services on creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth.
  • Our law reform projects contribute to the Government’s strategic objectives: for a Scotland that is in particular Wealthier and Fairer; and Safer and Stronger.
  • The law reform projects that the Commission undertakes are designed to contribute to the Scottish Government's National Outcomes, by recommending reforms that will help to provide an improved and modernised legal framework within which these National Outcomes can be pursued.  The Commission's current law reform projects contribute to the following of the Government’s National Outcomes:

We live in a Scotland that is the most attractive place for doing business in Europe

We realise our full economic potential with more and better employment opportunities for our people

We live our lives safe from crime, disorder and danger.

We live longer, healthier lives.

  • Our recent and current law reform projects have the following general purposes:

Trust law: making Scotland a more attractive place to invest, through civil law reform

Judicial factors: making Scotland a fairer place, through civil law reform

Review of contract law, and of the law on moveable transactions: making Scotland a more attractive place to contract and to do business, through civil law reform

Insurance law: making Scotland a fairer and more attractive market place, through civil law reform

Adults with incapacity: helping to retain quality of life, through civil law reform

Modernisation of compulsory purchase law and consolidation of bankruptcy law: providing clearer, more accessible legislation on compulsory purchase and bankruptcy in Scotland.

Improving efficiency, effectiveness and economy in our performance 

In the course of this financial year, we have continued to review the operating costs of the Commission in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness and make economies where possible.  Steps taken for this purpose include the following –

  • Implementation of an agreement with the Scottish Government Legal Directorate on the provision of a shared library service to the Commission by the Scottish Legal Information Centre; resulting in reduced staff costs for the Commission;
  • Review of our library stock, subscriptions and expenditure; resulting in reduction of stock, and reliance on online resources; and office space thereby made available for other uses;  and a cautious approach taken to considering new purchases;
  • Review of travel costs; these costs have been reduced by undertaking certain meetings by video and telephone conference instead of travel to London; and by combining Commission business with other commitments, when possible; such as trips undertaken for academic purposes;
  • On staff training, continued reliance for compulsory professional development and for general staff development mainly on free sources of training, for example seminars organised by the Scottish Government and the Government Legal Service for Scotland;
  • Review of posts where any vacancies arose; with a view to making efficiencies where appropriate.