Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing has asked the Crofting Commission to take urgent action to improve performance in crucial areas.
A full action plan including prioritising work to deliver the necessary improvements in the way regulatory cases and Board proceedings are managed will be delivered in response to the findings of the Governance Review.
The Crofting Commission Governance Review highlighted a range of areas that need urgent action including:
•Governance standards, procedures and other arrangements, at both executive and non-executive levels, to underpin effective decision-making, particularly in relation to the Bohuntin, Upper Coll and Mangersta Common Grazings cases [Note: The review did not look at the regulatory decisions themselves]
•Arrangements for handling conflicts of interest
•Ensuring that capacity building and development needs of Board members are met and that the necessary training is provided.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “This review highlights notable and worrying failures in the governance of the crofting commission which must be improved immediately. That is why I have asked the new Chief Executive to urgently prepare an action plan to take this forward.”
“Crofting is an integral part of Scottish rural life and it is essential that it has an effective regulator. This review, and the action plan which will follow, must help to deliver the necessary changes and ensure the commission is able to lead the crofting industry forward.”
Crofting Commission Chief Executive Bill Barron said:
“A number of important points have been made in the governance review and we are committed to ensuring robust processes are in place to achieve a high standard of governance within the organisation.
“We have already made some of the improvements recommended in the review and building on this, along with continuous improvement, will help us to create a focussed and effective Commission.”