The Justice Committee has agreed to focus its scrutiny of the Scottish Government’s Draft Budget 2016-17 on three budget areas:
• the police budget,
• the fire and rescue services budget, and
• the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) budget.
The Scottish Government’s Draft Budget 2016-17 is unlikely to be available until the end of 2015. The Committee is due to take evidence on the Draft Budget from the Cabinet Secretary for Justice early in the New Year. Evidence sessions with the Scottish Police Authority/Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, and the COPFS are also planned for December 2015. To inform these sessions, the Committee is seeking written evidence on the financial planning of the Scottish Police Authority/Police Scotland in relation to the police budget, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service on the fire and rescue service budget, and the COPFS on its budget. The Committee is in particular interested in your views on:
• the approach taken to allocating budgets and achieving savings in the three areas listed above,
• how these budgets have been allocated for the current year and the impact levels of spending have had on services and staff,
• any budgetary pressures in the current year and which are anticipated for 2016-17, and
• any areas where additional spending may be required or where savings could be identified.
The Committee is of course interested in any other issues affecting financial planning by these bodies for 2016-17 that you wish to comment on. Feel free to comment on all three topics or one or two.
The closing date for written submissions was Tuesday 24 November 2015.
The Committee published its report to the Finance Committee on 29 January 2016.