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Legal action and costs

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Dear Scottish Social Services Council,

I am writing to you to request the following information.

1) The total spend, broken down by financial or calendar year, on external legal advice since April 1, 2020. (I.e. 2020/21, 2021/22, 2022/23 to date)
1a) Please break this down by the list of associated cases or disputes, and their individual cost.

1b) If possible, please provide the final settlement or damages or other court mandated payment cost for any cases during which external legal advice was sought. If it is not possible to link each case to a settlement agreement, please provide the total cost of the settlements or payments.

Yours faithfully,

Conor Matchett

Registration, Scottish Social Services Council

1 Attachment

Dear Conor

 

Thank you for your email.

 

We have forwarded this to the appropriate department and asked them to
respond directly to you.

I hope this information is helpful, however if you need any more help or
advice, please contact our Enquiries Team by telephoning 0345 60 30 891
9am-4pm Monday to Friday or by emailing [1][email address].

Kind regards

Nicole Aikenhead
Registration Assistant
Scottish Social Services Council
Compass House
11 Riverside Drive
Dundee
DD1 4NY
Tel: 0345 6030891

 

[2]Text Description automatically generated

Have you updated your equality information?

 

We’re gathering information about the diversity of the people on our
Register to help meet the needs of registered workers and to make sure our
processes are fair and accessible. You can do this by using the link
below.

[3]Sign into MySSSC

 

[4]Registration/MySSSC Frequently Asked Questions.  - You may find answers
to your questions here.

   

[5]Updating your details on MySSSC - It is essential that we hold your
correct email address, mobile phone number and employment as we may want
to get in touch with you about your registration. Please check and amend
your information by logging into MySSSC. 

  

[6]Direct debit Mandate  - We recommend you pay your fees by direct debit
to make sure your fees are paid on time and your registration continues
seamlessly. 

 

Keep informed with news from the SSSC and the social service sector:

[7]www.sssc.uk.com

[8]www.news.sssc.uk.com

   

Follow us on Facebook - [9]www.facebook.com/thesssc

Follow us on Twitter - [10]www.twitter.com/SSSCnews

Subscribe to our SSSC News monthly newsletter –
[11]https://www.sssc.uk.com/newsletter/

 

Please note this email, any attachment or any response may be released as
a result of a data protection or freedom of information request.

 

 

show quoted sections

Rebecca Jimminson, Scottish Social Services Council

2 Attachments

Private & Confidential

 

Good afternoon,

 

Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 – Information Request

 

I acknowledge your request for information received on 01 December 2022.

 

We are considering your request and you will receive the information
within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the
Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, unless the information is
exempt. 

 

The SSSC will take all reasonable steps to meet requests to provide
information in a preferred format, for example, in Braille, on tape or in
a language other than English. 

 

For your information, the Act defines a number of exemptions for
situations when we should not release the information. We will assess the
information you have requested and if it is exempt, we will not release
it. We will inform you if this is the case, and we will explain your right
to appeal our decision.  

 

You may need to pay a fee for the information and, if so we will let you
know. If a fee is needed you will need to pay it before we process and
release the information. The 20 working day time limit for responses is
paused until we receive the payment. 

 

If you have any questions or concerns then please contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

Rebecca Jimminson

Business Support Assistant

 

 

Rebecca Jimminson

Business Support Assistant

Legal and Corporate Governance

Scottish Social Services Council

Compass House, 11 Riverside Drive, Dundee, DD1 4NY

Tel: 01382 723679

Email: [email address]

 

[1]Graphical user interface, text, application Description automatically
generated

Our work means the people of Scotland can count on social work, social
care and early years services being provided by a trusted, skilled and
confident workforce.  

Keep informed with news from the SSSC:  

[2]www.facebook.com/thesssc 

[3]www.twitter.com/SSSCnews 

Sign up to receive our
latest news [4]https://www.sssc.uk.com/newsletter/  

[5]https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/

 

 

References

Visible links
2. http://www.facebook.com/thesssc
3. http://www.twitter.com/SSSCnews
4. https://www.sssc.uk.com/newsletter/
5. https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/

Rebecca Jimminson, Scottish Social Services Council

2 Attachments

Good morning,

 

I am writing to advise that we are still in the process of considering
your information request, but regret that we will be unable to respond to
you before the statutory deadline. Our offices will close for Christmas at
2pm on Friday 23 ^ December, and will reopen on Wednesday 4 January. We
anticipate that we will be in a position to respond to your request after
the week commencing 9 January 2023. Please accept our apologies for the
delay here.

 

Kind regards,

Rebecca Jimminson

 

From:
Sent: None
To: [FOI #925189 email]
Subject: Acknowledgement

 

Private & Confidential

 

Good afternoon,

 

Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 – Information Request

 

I acknowledge your request for information received on 01 December 2022.

 

We are considering your request and you will receive the information
within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the
Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, unless the information is
exempt. 

 

The SSSC will take all reasonable steps to meet requests to provide
information in a preferred format, for example, in Braille, on tape or in
a language other than English. 

 

For your information, the Act defines a number of exemptions for
situations when we should not release the information. We will assess the
information you have requested and if it is exempt, we will not release
it. We will inform you if this is the case, and we will explain your right
to appeal our decision.  

 

You may need to pay a fee for the information and, if so we will let you
know. If a fee is needed you will need to pay it before we process and
release the information. The 20 working day time limit for responses is
paused until we receive the payment. 

 

If you have any questions or concerns then please contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

Rebecca Jimminson

Business Support Assistant

 

 

Rebecca Jimminson

Business Support Assistant

Legal and Corporate Governance

Scottish Social Services Council

Compass House, 11 Riverside Drive, Dundee, DD1 4NY

Tel: 01382 723679

Email: [1][email address]

 

[2]Graphical user interface, text, application Description automatically
generated

Our work means the people of Scotland can count on social work, social
care and early years services being provided by a trusted, skilled and
confident workforce.  

Keep informed with news from the SSSC:  

[3]www.facebook.com/thesssc 

[4]www.twitter.com/SSSCnews 

Sign up to receive our
latest news [5]https://www.sssc.uk.com/newsletter/  

[6]https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.facebook.com/thesssc
4. http://www.twitter.com/SSSCnews
5. https://www.sssc.uk.com/newsletter/
6. https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/

Caroline Gowans, Scottish Social Services Council

1 Attachment

Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 – Information request

Our reference – 00339/FOI/SM

 

 

Dear Mr Matchett

 

I refer to your request for information of 30 November 2022. Please accept
our apologies for the delay in coming back to you on this.

 

We have carefully considered your request under the Freedom of Information
(Scotland) Act 2002 and this email is intended to constitute
our formal response to that request.  You will appreciate that information
disclosed under this legislation enters the public domain and is
accessible to anyone who asks for it.

 

·           The total spend, broken down by financial or calendar year, on
external legal advice since April 1, 2020 (2020/21, 2021/22, 2022/23 to
date)

 

The SSSC’s total expenditure for external legal services, for each
financial year since 1 April 2020, is set out in the table below. These
services have been instructed by various departments within the SSSC
(mainly Fitness to Practise, Legal and Corporate Governance, Human
Resources, and Regulatory Improvement and Hearings).

 

┌───────────┬─────────────────┬─────────────────┬────────────────────────┐
│  │   │   │   │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ FY 2020-21 │ FY 2021-22 │ FY 2022-23 │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ │ (to 30 November 2022) │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ │   │
├───────────┼─────────────────┼─────────────────┼────────────────────────┤
│  │   │   │   │
│ │ │ │ │
│Total │ £167,565.77 │ £132,391.70 │ £101,476.34 │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ │   │
└───────────┴─────────────────┴─────────────────┴────────────────────────┘

 

Please note that, in certain circumstances, we may instruct external
solicitors to manage and present the SSSC’s case on our behalf (for
example, in some fitness to practise cases heard by panels or appealed to
the Sheriff Court). The totals set out in the table above therefore
include presenter fees for management of and appearance at any such
hearings, as well as fees for legal advice provided.

 

Please also note that these costs do not include amounts incurred by the
SSSC for tracing services, expert reports and evidence (e.g. medical
reports), service of documents, or requests for information to the
Scottish Courts & Tribunal Service.

 

·           Please break this down by the list of associated cases or
disputes, and their individual cost

 

We do not record information on this category of expenditure in a way
which enables us to ascertain the amount spent on each individual case or
dispute. Please also note that not all expenditure on external legal
advice can be attributed to a specific case or dispute. The departments
also request advice from external solicitors on general legal matters
(e.g. general employment law advice sought by Human Resources).

 

To answer this part of your request, we would firstly need to ingather all
invoices we have received within the requested period, from all providers
of external legal services. We would then need to undertake a manual
exercise to try to match each invoice to a relevant case file(s), if one
exists.

In terms of section 12 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002,
we are not obliged to comply with a request where to do so would cost in
excess of £600.

 

Some of the invoices may cover more than one case or matter, and many of
the invoices will refer only to the initials of the individual involved,
rather than their full names. This exercise would therefore involve
several senior members of staff (from the relevant department), working
together to try to identify, from memory, the cases referred to in each
invoice.

 

Given the number of invoices covering the period of your request (and the
potential difficulties in matching these to the correct case files) we
anticipate the cost of responding to this part of your request will exceed
the £600 limit.

 

To help us provide a response to this part of your request, please can you
clarify whether you are looking for this information in relation to a
specific department or area of our work. This would enable us to narrow
down the number of invoices we would be required to review, which may
simplify the process.

 

·           If possible, please provide the final settlement or damages or
other court mandated payment cost for any cases during which external
legal advice was sought. If it is not possible to link each case to a
settlement agreement, please provide the total cost of the settlements or
payments.

 

In financial year 2020-21, the SSSC made a payment to an individual in
settlement of a claim for damages, in connection with a breach of the Data
Protection Act 2018. The total payment made to the individual was
£5,968.20 (which comprised an agreed settlement payment of £1,500, and an
amount covering the individual’s legal expenses and other outlays).

 

No further settlement, damages or other court-mandated payment has been
made by the SSSC to any party in the period from 1 April 2020 to the date
of the request.

 

If you have a complaint or are dissatisfied with the handling of your
request then please see the attached document which states how the
Scottish Social Services Council will handle complaints or requests for
reviews about requests for information under the Freedom of Information
(Scotland) Act 2002. I would draw your attention in particular to the time
limit for submission of a requirement for a review as set out in Paragraph
2.2 of the document headed Scottish Social Services Council – Freedom of
Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) – the requirement for a review
must be made no later than the fortieth working day after the receipt of
the Notice.

 

Yours sincerely

Caroline

 

Caroline Gowans

Information Governance Coordinator

Legal and Corporate Governance

Scottish Social Services Council

Compass House, 11 Riverside Drive, Dundee DD1 4NY

 

Direct phone: 01382 721937

Main phone: 0345 60 30 891

Email: [1][email address]

 

 

Keep informed with news from the SSSC and the social service sector:

[2]www.sssc.uk.com

[3]www.news.sssc.uk.com

 

Follow us on Facebook - [4]www.facebook.com/thesssc

Follow us on Twitter - [5]www.twitter.com/SSSCnews

Subscribe to our SSSC News monthly newsletter –
[6]https://www.sssc.uk.com/newsletter/

 

Please note this email, any attachment or any response may be released as a
result of a data protection or freedom of information request.

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. website
https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
3. SSSC news
https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
4. Facebook
https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
5. twitter
https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
6. Newsletter
https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlo...

Caroline Gowans, Scottish Social Services Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Matchett

 

Please accept my apologies for not attaching the document referred to in
my previous email. I have attached it now.

 

Your sincerely

Caroline

 

 

Caroline Gowans

Information Governance Coordinator

Legal and Corporate Governance

Scottish Social Services Council

Compass House, 11 Riverside Drive, Dundee DD1 4NY

 

Direct phone: 01382 721937

Main phone: 0345 60 30 891

Email: [1][email address]

 

 

Keep informed with news from the SSSC and the social service sector:

[2]www.sssc.uk.com

[3]www.news.sssc.uk.com

 

Follow us on Facebook - [4]www.facebook.com/thesssc

Follow us on Twitter - [5]www.twitter.com/SSSCnews

Subscribe to our SSSC News monthly newsletter –
[6]https://www.sssc.uk.com/newsletter/

 

Please note this email, any attachment or any response may be released as a
result of a data protection or freedom of information request.

 

 

 

 

From: Caroline Gowans
Sent: 18 January 2023 16:25
To: '[FOI #925189 email]'
<[FOI #925189 email]>
Subject: SSSC - FOI request response

 

Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 – Information request

Our reference – 00339/FOI/SM

 

 

Dear Mr Matchett

 

I refer to your request for information of 30 November 2022. Please accept
our apologies for the delay in coming back to you on this.

 

We have carefully considered your request under the Freedom of Information
(Scotland) Act 2002 and this email is intended to constitute
our formal response to that request.  You will appreciate that information
disclosed under this legislation enters the public domain and is
accessible to anyone who asks for it.

 

·           The total spend, broken down by financial or calendar year, on
external legal advice since April 1, 2020 (2020/21, 2021/22, 2022/23 to
date)

 

The SSSC’s total expenditure for external legal services, for each
financial year since 1 April 2020, is set out in the table below. These
services have been instructed by various departments within the SSSC
(mainly Fitness to Practise, Legal and Corporate Governance, Human
Resources, and Regulatory Improvement and Hearings).

 

       

FY 2020-21 FY 2021-22 FY 2022-23

(to 30 November 2022)

 
       

Total £167,565.77 £132,391.70 £101,476.34

 

 

Please note that, in certain circumstances, we may instruct external
solicitors to manage and present the SSSC’s case on our behalf (for
example, in some fitness to practise cases heard by panels or appealed to
the Sheriff Court). The totals set out in the table above therefore
include presenter fees for management of and appearance at any such
hearings, as well as fees for legal advice provided.

 

Please also note that these costs do not include amounts incurred by the
SSSC for tracing services, expert reports and evidence (e.g. medical
reports), service of documents, or requests for information to the
Scottish Courts & Tribunal Service.

 

·           Please break this down by the list of associated cases or
disputes, and their individual cost

 

We do not record information on this category of expenditure in a way
which enables us to ascertain the amount spent on each individual case or
dispute. Please also note that not all expenditure on external legal
advice can be attributed to a specific case or dispute. The departments
also request advice from external solicitors on general legal matters
(e.g. general employment law advice sought by Human Resources).

 

To answer this part of your request, we would firstly need to ingather all
invoices we have received within the requested period, from all providers
of external legal services. We would then need to undertake a manual
exercise to try to match each invoice to a relevant case file(s), if one
exists.

In terms of section 12 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002,
we are not obliged to comply with a request where to do so would cost in
excess of £600.

 

Some of the invoices may cover more than one case or matter, and many of
the invoices will refer only to the initials of the individual involved,
rather than their full names. This exercise would therefore involve
several senior members of staff (from the relevant department), working
together to try to identify, from memory, the cases referred to in each
invoice.

 

Given the number of invoices covering the period of your request (and the
potential difficulties in matching these to the correct case files) we
anticipate the cost of responding to this part of your request will exceed
the £600 limit.

 

To help us provide a response to this part of your request, please can you
clarify whether you are looking for this information in relation to a
specific department or area of our work. This would enable us to narrow
down the number of invoices we would be required to review, which may
simplify the process.

 

·           If possible, please provide the final settlement or damages or
other court mandated payment cost for any cases during which external
legal advice was sought. If it is not possible to link each case to a
settlement agreement, please provide the total cost of the settlements or
payments.

 

In financial year 2020-21, the SSSC made a payment to an individual in
settlement of a claim for damages, in connection with a breach of the Data
Protection Act 2018. The total payment made to the individual was
£5,968.20 (which comprised an agreed settlement payment of £1,500, and an
amount covering the individual’s legal expenses and other outlays).

 

No further settlement, damages or other court-mandated payment has been
made by the SSSC to any party in the period from 1 April 2020 to the date
of the request.

 

If you have a complaint or are dissatisfied with the handling of your
request then please see the attached document which states how the
Scottish Social Services Council will handle complaints or requests for
reviews about requests for information under the Freedom of Information
(Scotland) Act 2002. I would draw your attention in particular to the time
limit for submission of a requirement for a review as set out in Paragraph
2.2 of the document headed Scottish Social Services Council – Freedom of
Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) – the requirement for a review
must be made no later than the fortieth working day after the receipt of
the Notice.

 

Yours sincerely

Caroline

 

Caroline Gowans

Information Governance Coordinator

Legal and Corporate Governance

Scottish Social Services Council

Compass House, 11 Riverside Drive, Dundee DD1 4NY

 

Direct phone: 01382 721937

Main phone: 0345 60 30 891

Email: [7][email address]

 

 

Keep informed with news from the SSSC and the social service sector:

[8]www.sssc.uk.com

[9]www.news.sssc.uk.com

 

Follow us on Facebook - [10]www.facebook.com/thesssc

Follow us on Twitter - [11]www.twitter.com/SSSCnews

Subscribe to our SSSC News monthly newsletter –
[12]https://www.sssc.uk.com/newsletter/

 

Please note this email, any attachment or any response may be released as a
result of a data protection or freedom of information request.

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. website
https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
3. SSSC news
https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
4. Facebook
https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
5. twitter
https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
6. Newsletter
https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
7. mailto:[email address]
8. website
https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
9. SSSC news
https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
10. Facebook
https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
11. twitter
https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
12. Newsletter
https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlo...

Caroline Gowans, Scottish Social Services Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Matchett

 

I am writing to remind you that it has been 20 working days since we asked
for clarification on whether you are looking for information in relation
to a specific department or area of work in question two of your request.
If we don’t receive your clarification within 40 working days we will
close your request.

 

Yours sincerely

Caroline

 

 

Caroline Gowans

Information Governance Coordinator

Legal and Corporate Governance

Scottish Social Services Council

Compass House, 11 Riverside Drive, Dundee DD1 4NY

 

Direct phone: 01382 721937

Main phone: 0345 60 30 891

Email: [1][email address]

 

 

Keep informed with news from the SSSC and the social service sector:

[2]www.sssc.uk.com

[3]www.news.sssc.uk.com

 

Follow us on Facebook - [4]www.facebook.com/thesssc

Follow us on Twitter - [5]www.twitter.com/SSSCnews

Subscribe to our SSSC News monthly newsletter –
[6]https://www.sssc.uk.com/newsletter/

 

Please note this email, any attachment or any response may be released as a
result of a data protection or freedom of information request.

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. website
https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
3. SSSC news
https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
4. Facebook
https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
5. twitter
https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
6. Newsletter
https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlo...

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Conor Matchett please sign in and let everyone know.