Introduction

The following information provides an overview of the Scottish Public Pensions Agency including who we are, where to find us, how to contact us, how we’re managed and how we manage our external relations.

Our contact details

Scottish Public Pensions Agency
7 Tweedside Park
Galashiels
TD1 3TE

Telephone: 01896 893000

Website: www.sppa.gov.uk

Business opening hours: 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday; 9am to 4:30pm Friday.

You can also contact us online.

To request information from SPPA or to make a formal Freedom of Information request, write to: Director of Corporate Services at the address above or email: SPPACommunications@gov.scot.

For customer care and complaints functions write to: Head of Customer Services at the address above or contact us.

What we do

The Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA) is an Agency of the Scottish Government. It provides the administration for the National Health Service, Teachers’, Police and Firefighters’ pension schemes in Scotland.

SPPA also provides policy advice to Ministers on public sector pensions for these schemes and Local Government schemes. Advice is also provided for developing the regulations for each of these schemes and to help determine appeals made by scheme members. The Agency also delivers a pension calculation service for the Legal Aid Board for Scotland and the Scottish Parliament.

The legal framework for the Scottish Public Pensions Agency, including its constitution, articles of association or charter can be found within our Framework Document and Corporate Plan.

Our mission statement

SPPA is a national centre of excellence for pensions administration and policy expertise. Our aim is to continuously deliver a high quality, responsive and cost-effective service for our customers.

Our corporate policies

SPPA applies the Scottish Government's health and safety management systems and procedures. We have a Health and Safety Committee and trained health and safety liaison officers to provide support services and advice to staff. We work in partnership with trade union representatives to address safety issues and to encourage a pro-active safety culture.

We’re committed to improving environmental performance as part of our wider commitment to sustainable development. Full details can be found within the Corporate Social Responsibility section of our Annual Report and Accounts.

The Agency is an equal opportunities employer. Policies are in place to guard against discrimination and aim to ensure there are no unfair or illegal discriminatory barriers to employment or advancement in the Agency.

We actively promote race equality (as set out in the Race Relations Act (as amended)) and, as an Agency of the Scottish Government, we fully subscribe to the Government's Race Equality Scheme. We continue to develop structures and systems to ensure that equality is an integral part of our thinking and behaviour.

Our board

Executive team
Chief Executive: Penelope Cooper
Head of Customer Services: Dev Dey
Head of Business Affairs: Tom Nash
Head of Business Management: Matt Valente
Head of Digital Transformation & IT Operations: Andre Morelli
 

Non-Executive Board Members
Ms Gillian Thompson (Chair, Management Advisory Board)
Mr Stuart Smith (Chair, Audit and Risk Committee)
Ms Sheena Cowan
Liz Holmes
Gordon Wales (Chief Financial Officer, Scottish Government)
Ian Forbes

Our organisational structure

The Customer Services directorate employs the majority of our workforce and deals with the administration of pensions for members of the NHS, Teacher, Firefighter and Police schemes.

Our Corporate Services directorate covers the functions of Human Resources, Corporate Training, IT, Corporate Communications, Mailroom, Security and Facilities Management.

Our Policy directorate prepares, in accordance with the policies of the UK Government and the Scottish Government, the regulations that govern the public service pension schemes, and associated arrangements, for which the Scottish Ministers have regulatory responsibility.

The Finance directorate deals with Agency administration (running costs), scheme administration (the pension schemes), procurement and contract management.

Governance policies

Civil Servants employed by SPPA are bound by the provisions of the Civil Service Code and are expected to perform their duties with honesty and impartiality. The following links provide information on the standards expected in terms of codes of conduct.

Civil Service Code
Whistleblowing
Bribery

Publication scheme and guide to information

Our publication scheme has been prepared as a guide to information in line with the best practice encouraged by the Scottish Information Commissioner.

Charging schedule for published information

All of the information contained in this publication scheme is available from us free of charge where it can be downloaded from our website or where it can be sent to you electronically by email. If you don’t have access to the internet and a printer, you can request a single print-out of a document free of charge from us or hard copy publications may be available subject to a charge (see the section on charges below).

Information and advice which is specifically published for the general public, such as public information leaflets and advice on changes to the law, will be available for free in multiple copies of printed form, with copies also available to download free of charge from our website.

Information available on payment of a charge

Requests for multiple print-outs of website content or for multiple hard copies may attract a charge to cover printing, photocopying and postage costs. Multiple print-outs or photocopies will be charged at 10p per A4 side of paper (black and white) and 30p per A4 side of paper (colour).

If single or multiple print-outs or photocopies are not sufficient, hard copy publications may be available but may be charged at a cover price (which will depend on the format and type of document) or incur costs for printing. Postage and packaging costs may also be charged at the rates set by our mail provider.

If a charge is to be levied, you’ll be advised of the cost and how it has been calculated. Information will only be sent to you after payment has been received.

Under the Disability Discrimination Act we have a duty to provide a range of appropriate services, including making information physically accessible in, for example, a larger script or alternative format (where practicable). In these circumstances, the costs will be met by SPPA.

Freedom of Information upper cost limit

Section 12(1) of the Freedom Of Information (Scotland) Act (FOISA) provides that SPPA, as a Scottish Public Authority, is not obliged to respond to a request if it estimates that the cost of complying with the request would exceed £600.

SPPA may make a charge for information between specified limits (Fees regulations made under section 9(4)) but cannot charge for the first £100 of costs.

Charging schedule for environmental information provided in response to requests under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004

SPPA may only charge for the supply of information in accordance with the costs detailed above. Unlike requests made under FOISA, EIRs don't have an upper or lower cost limit (subject to regulation 10(4)(b)).

External relations and corporate governance

Our accounts are audited by Audit Scotland. Internal audit services are provided by the Scottish Government internal audit department.

Our corporate governance is underlined by a number of key principles including:

  • integrity and accessibility of financial information
  • auditor independence
  • management responsibility
  • sound processes of internal control.

The Agency shares the Scottish Executive Accounting System (SEAS), and information from this system is available directly to the Scottish Government.

The Agency has a clearly defined governance structure which includes:

  • a Senior Leadership Team (comprising the executive directors)
  • a Corporate Board (which includes non-executive directors)
  • an Audit and Risk Committee (which comprises three non-executive members)
  • the allocation of specified areas of responsibility to each executive director
  • sound project management and project sponsorship disciplines
  • on-going process reviews to ensure best practice.

Internal control is provided through planning procedures that ensure future work is aligned to Government policy and the Agency's strategic direction.

The Agency has a formal risk management procedure to identify business risks and ensure they receive focused management attention at the appropriate level. The Risk Governance Group identifies and reports the key strategic risks to the Corporate Board and Agency's Audit and Risk Committee. These risks are linked to key objectives in the annual operating plan/corporate plan.

Risk is a standard agenda item in many areas of the Agency including the identification and evaluation of risks in the preparation of directorate business plans and all project plans.

Subsidiary companies and other significant financial interests
SPPA does not own or part own any subsidiary companies or have other financial interests.

Strategic agreements with other bodies
SPPA has a strategic agreement with the National Fraud Initiative.

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