Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010: statement for 2011-12

Scottish Law Commission Return for Financial Year 2011/12

March 2012

Under the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 we have, 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 2011-12 (1/4/2011–31/3/2012) is set out below: 


Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010

Scottish Law Commission Expenditure for Financial Year 2011/12


Spend 2011/12

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



Promotion of 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.

  • Our 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, and review of prescription and title to moveable property: 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

Consumer redress for misleading and aggressive practices: making Scotland a fairer place for consumers, through civil law reform

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

Review of the law on homicide, and similar fact evidence and the Moorov doctrine: making Scotland a safer place to live, through criminal justice reform

Adults with incapacity: helping to retain quality of life, through civil law reform Consolidation of bankruptcy law: providing clearer, more accessible legislation on bankruptcy in Scotland, through civil law reform.


Improving efficiency, effectiveness and economy in our performance   

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

  • Review of our library subscriptions and expenditure; with cuts of about £2,800 in this financial year; and cautious approach taken to considering new purchases;
  • Review of IT expenditure and equipment, releasing a number of pieces of IT equipment resulting in savings of around £2,000 in our annual IT service charge;
  • Review of costs of publication of our reports and discussion papers; resulting in decision to reduce the number of hard copies circulated to consultees, with expected minor savings on stationery and postage costs; a review of the publication costs matrix applied to our publications; though with little change to the costs, as the reduction in numbers of copies ordered is offset by the costs of materials;
  • Review of travel costs; these costs have been reduced by a decision not to send representatives to international law reform conferences overseas; and by undertaking certain meetings by video and telephone conference instead of travel to London;
  • On staff training, reliance for compulsory professional development and for general staff development mainly on free sources of training, for example seminars organised by the Scottish Government or the Government Legal Service for Scotland
  • Review of office services, with a decision to opt into further Scottish Government collaborative contracts available to public bodies; we are now using the Scottish Government collaborative contracts for taxis and for couriers, with de minimis savings;
  • As regards our website, we have changed to a new server package which runs the site with improved efficiency and security, at a de minimis increased annual cost.