The Role of Regulators in Scotland: Delivering Effective Accountability and Scrutiny for Public Services, Markets and Consumers
Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
Rosemary Agnew took up the post of Scottish Public Services Ombudsman on 1 May 2017. Immediately prior to this she was the Scottish Information Commissioner (2012-2017).
Since 2001, Rosemary has held various roles in relation to public sector complaints, including with the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission and the Local Government Ombudsman in the UK.
Rosemary is committed to transparent, sustainable improvement in Scottish public services. She sees complaints and what is learned from them as an integral part of the improvement landscape. Equally, she recognises the importance of being the final stage of the complaints process in Scotland for most public services and in ensuring that, where things go wrong for individuals, action is taken to put them right as far as possible.
Audit Director, Audit Scotland
Ramsay joined the Government, Regulation and Competition team as a solicitor in 2012 having trained with the firm.
Ramsay’s main focus is regulatory decision making and investigations and he represents corporates, public sector bodies and individuals across a range of sectors on compliance, investigations and prosecutions. His experience includes advising on:
• Internal investigations for corporates and public sector bodies
• Regulatory-led investigations
• Financial crime, including bribery & corruption, money laundering, tax offences and fraud
• Civil remedies such as interdict and specific implement
• Defending clients facing prosecution
He regularly appears in Scottish Sheriff Courts in both criminal and civil actions.
Ramsay is ranked as Associate to watch in the legal directories.
Regional Manager, Information Commissioner's Office
Maureen Falconer joined the ICO in 2007. Maureen works with a variety of organisations, providing awareness-raising events to promote the Data Protection Act as a standard for good processing of personal information rather than it being viewed as a barrier. Maureen has a particular interest in the development of IT in respect of cyber security and the growth of cloud technology and works closely with colleagues from the health, education and local government sectors.
Prior to joining the ICO, Maureen worked in the Scottish Parliament as parliamentary researcher for Dennis Canavan MSP until his retirement in 2007. Coming from an academic background, Maureen lectured and researched in public administration with specific interests in education and health.
Scottish Information Commissioner
Daren Fitzhenry took up post as Scottish Information Commissioner in October 2017, for a fixed term of six years. Prior to his current role, he was a senior officer in the Royal Air Force Legal Branch, heading up its legal advisory team, with wide-ranging experience in the development, implementation and enforcement of regulatory systems.
As Scottish Information Commissioner, Daren is responsible for the enforcement and promotion of Scotland’s freedom of information laws. This includes handling appeals about the way in which Scottish public authorities respond to information requests, promoting good practice and monitoring and assessing FOI performance.
He is strongly committed to the principles of freedom of information, recognising the significant benefits that FOI brings to society, not least its key role in enabling the public's participation and engagement in the issues which really matter to them.
Chief Executive, Care Inspectorate
I was appointed chief executive of the Care Inspectorate in December 2018.
I have been privileged to spend over 30 years in the public sector, working to make a difference. I am as passionate about care and support now as I was when I first started out. I am ambitious for social care; I want people in Scotland to experience transformational, world-class care that makes a real and positive difference to their lives.
I graduated from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen with a degree in social sciences and a qualification in social work and began my career as a social worker in Glasgow in 1987. Since then, I have worked in a range of frontline social work services, with a particular interest in working with children and young people.
I joined Renfrewshire council in 1996 as an area manager, responsible for adult, children’s and criminal justice social work in a busy locality team. In early 2007, I was appointed head of children’s services and criminal justice for social work and the community health partnership. Later that year, I was appointed director of social work. I was honoured to become president of the Association of Directors of Social Work in 2012. In 2015, I became Renfrewshire’s first director of a new children’s services directorate, bringing together children’s social work, education and criminal justice services.
I have a long-held interest in research and innovation and am chair of the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services. I have co-chaired national groups looking at outcomes and commissioning in relation to health and care integration. I also sit on the boards of MacMillan Cancer Support TCAT Programme and Scottish Government’s Re-aligning Children’s Services programme.
I was brought up in the Western Isles as a Gaelic speaker. I have volunteered in social care services abroad, including in Tanzania. In my spare time, I enjoy mountains, outdoor swimming and cycling. My family and I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2017.
Senior Policy Advisor - Consumer Policy & Interventions Team, Consumer & Competition Policy Unit, Scottish Government
Saskia has worked in the Consumer & Competition Unit in the Scottish Government since January 2019, leading on development and delivery of Commitment 4 of Scotland’s Open Government National Action Plan 2018-20, in partnership with civic society. This work is focused on improving access to accountability of public services, and is being shaped through engagement with citizens and scrutiny and regulatory bodies in Scotland.
Saskia also leads on consumer advocacy policy and the collaborative sharing economy. She has a Masters in Environment & Development from the University of Edinburgh, and a First Class MA (Hons) in Management Studies from the University of St Andrews.
Chief Executive, Scottish Legal Complaints Commission
Neil was appointed Chief Executive of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission in July 2015. The organisation is the single gateway for all complaints about the service provide lawyers and their professional conduct, and can award up to £20,000 compensation.
His previous background combines significant experience of regulation and complaints, and of the Scottish legal services market. Neil currently sits on the Council of the Advertising Standards Authority, involved in both the governance of the organisation and in adjudication on complaints within the £20 billion UK advertising industry; he is a member of their Audit and Risk Committee, and Remuneration Committee. He is also Vice-chair and a trustee of Changing the Chemistry, a peer network supporting diversity of thought on UK boards.
In 2009 he was appointed by the Privy Council to sit on the General Dental Council, the regulatory and complaints body for 104,000 dental professionals in the UK and he served two terms on the Board (demitting in September 2017) as well as chairing the Remuneration Committee. Between 2004 and 2015 Neil worked with the Law Society of Scotland, latterly as their Director of Representation and Professional Support. He has previously held a number of other Executive and Non-Executive Director roles in organisations spanning the legal sector, healthcare, consultancy, and oil and gas. He holds a Law degree from Edinburgh University, and a Masters in Quality Management from Birmingham University.
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Well organised and great speakers.