Scrutiny of the Scottish Government's Draft Budget 2018-19


About the Inquiry

The Justice Committee is responsible for scrutinising elements of the Scottish Government's Draft Budget 2018-19 that are within its remit. At its meeting on 7 November 2017, the Committee agreed to focus its scrutiny this year on the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) budget.

The Scottish Government’s Draft Budget 2018-19 was published on 14 December 2017, and the Committee took evidence from the Lord Advocate at its meeting on 19 December 2017. Due to the limited time available to scrutinise the draft budget once it was published, written evidence was sought ahead of its publication.

Call for written evidence

The Committee sought written evidence on the financial planning of the COPFS. The Committee invited views on:

  • the approach the COPFS has taken to allocating budgets and achieving savings;
  • how these budgets have been allocated for the current year and the impact levels of spending have had on resources and the level and type of services provided;
  • any budgetary pressures in the current year and which are anticipated for 2018-19;
  • any areas where additional spending may be required; and
  • any areas where additional savings could be identified.

Earlier this year, the Committee completed its inquiry into the role and purpose of the COPFS. In its report, the Committee made a number of recommendations relating to the resources and funding of the COPFS. These recommendations covered issues such as staffing levels, delivering efficiency savings and reducing ‘churn’. As part of its scrutiny of the COPFS budget, the Committee is also keen to hear views about any progress made since its report.

Comments on any other issues affecting financial planning by the COPFS for 2018-19 were also welcome.

The closing date for written submissions was Tuesday 5 December 2017.


Any queries about written submissions should be addressed in the first instance to the Justice Committee clerking team at the above email address or on 0131 348 5047.


The following written submissions were received in response to the Committee's call for evidence:

The Committee took evidence from the Lord Advocate at its meeting on 19 December 2017.

On 9 August 2018, the Committee received a letter from the Lord Advocate detailing an in-year increase in budget to help tackle sexual offences.



The Committee published its report to the Finance and Constitution Committee on 11 January 2018.

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