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11 May 2017, 15:31
A police watchdog is bringing forward a review of the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) in the wake of accusations surrounding the resignation of a board member.
HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary (HMICS) announced earlier this year it was to carry out a ''thematic inspection'' of SPA as part of its scrutiny plan for 2017-18.
Elements of the inspection have now been brought forward at the request of Justice Secretary Michael Matheson to look particularly at issues around ''openness and transparency'' in the way SPA conducts its business and the lead-up to the resignation of board member Moi Ali.
Chief inspector Derek Penman said: ''The overall aim of this review will be to assess the openness and transparency in the way that the Scottish Police Authority conducts its business.
''It will specifically examine the authority's decision on holding meetings in private and the publication of meeting papers, and also assess the authority's compliance with relevant legislation, guidance and standing orders, and the awareness and understanding of the chair, board members and SPA officers of these.
''HMICS will engage directly with the key stakeholders, including police staff associations, members of the media and others who have a specific interest in the policing of Scotland and who may wish access to SPA meetings and papers.
''We will also engage directly with local authorities in terms of their statutory role in local scrutiny and governance.''