Annual Report and Accounts 2022-23 - Resource Accounts

View Annual Report and Accounts 2022-23 - Resource Accounts.

The report gives an outline of our key business activities and performance over the past financial year.

Accountability Report

The Directors’ Report

Revenue Scotland Board 2022-23

In line with paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the RSTPA, the Scottish Ministers are responsible for appointing between five and nine individuals to be members of the Revenue Scotland Board. One individual is appointed by Ministers as Chair. Ministers determine the period and terms of appointment of Board members and may re-appoint individuals who already are, or have been on the Board. This is subject to evidence of effective performance and their continued possession of the skills, knowledge, and experience required for the Board at the time of reappointment. Appointments are made following a public appointments exercise regulated by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland.

Board Members 2022-23



Aidan O’Carroll 

Aidan O’Carroll is a former senior partner at EY, one of the world’s largest professional services firms, which he left in July 2020 after 35 years. Formerly Head of Tax for EY in the UK, Aidan has advised both local and global companies across a wide spectrum of tax and business issues around the world. He was formerly Scottish Chair of Institute of Directors and stepped down in May 2023. He also has a number of Non-Executive Director roles in organisations based in the UK. He has considerable experience in dealing with regulatory matters in both emerging and developed markets; he is also a regular contributor and speaker at business conferences.


Martin McEwen 
Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee

Martin McEwen is a Chartered Accountant and Tax Advisor. He is the Head of Tax at SSE plc and a member of their Finance Leadership Team. He joined the company in 2008 after a number of years at PwC. He is a regular speaker on tax transparency and responsible corporate tax behaviour. He has sat on both the Scottish Taxes and the Corporate Tax Committees at ICAS.


Jean Lindsay 
Chair of the Staffing and Equalities Committee

Jean Lindsay was previously the Director of Human Resources at the Forestry Commission. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and has experience in leadership, strategic people management, change management and corporate governance in the public sector. She is also a member of the Board of Crown Estate Scotland and a non-legal member of the Employment Tribunal (Scotland).


Rt Hon Ken Macintosh
Member of the Staffing and Equality Committee – appointed 1 June 2022

Ken Macintosh was the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament until stepping down from elected politics in 2021. He began his working life with the BBC, serving as a senior producer and broadcast journalist on a range of news and current affairs programmes. He was elected to the first Scottish Parliament in 1999 and held a number of front bench roles before being chosen as Speaker in 2016. Ken is a member of the Privy Council as well as a Trustee of several charities.


Robert MacIntosh 
Member of the Audit and Risk Committee – appointed 1 June 2022

Robert MacIntosh is Professor of Strategic Management and Pro Vice Chancellor for Business and Law at Northumbria University. He has a PhD in Engineering and his work focuses on strategy and change with senior leadership teams. He has worked with over 100 organisations and has significant experience as a chair and trustee. He is a Fellow of the Institution for Engineering and Technology, the Academy of Social Sciences and the British Academy of Management. He is currently the chair of the Chartered Association of Business Schools and was formerly the chair of the social care charity Turning Point Scotland.


Idong Usoro 
Deputy Chair of Staffing and Equalities Committee – appointed 1 June 2022

Idong Usoro joined as a Board Member on 1 June 2022 and was appointed as Vice Chair on the Staffing and Equalities Committee on 11 August 2022. 

Idong is the Head of Enterprise Architecture at Castle Water Limited. He is trained in Business and Computer Science with industry certifications in enterprise architecture and has worked with over 100 organisations in as a technical specialist, senior leader and trustee. He has worked across the private and public sectors in the UK, Europe and the US supporting companies with the development of software solutions, digital data and technology functions, architecture functions, and implementation of innovation processes. 

His broad R&D background in the university and private sectors, provides a multi-disciplinary perspective on emerging technologies and a strong focus on innovation within Revenue Scotland’s planning. His research work has engaged both private and public organisations, innovation agencies that including UKRI/ Innovate UK, Cancer Research UK, European innovation/research institutes and the European Commission. 

Additionally, he serves as a Trustee with the Abbeyfield England board, and an executive consultant to private technology companies in the immersive solutions, Fintech and life sciences sectors


Simon Cunningham 
Deputy Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee

Simon Cunningham joined as a full Board Member on 1 January 2021 having previously served on the Audit and Risk Committee from 2019. He was appointed Deputy Chair of the Committee on 4 June 2023. Simon qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1988 and was a partner in Scott-Moncrieff for many years, leading the firm’s outsourced internal audit and risk consulting services. During his time at Scott-Moncrieff, he worked with the boards and audit committees for a wide range of public sector organisations. After four years as Chief Internal Auditor at AEGON UK plc, he joined McInroy & Wood (personal investment managers) as their Director of Compliance and Group Risk, and chaired their Risk Committee for six years. He is also currently a co-opted member of the Audit & Risk Committee for the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service. He chairs the Board of the Free Church of Scotland Pension Trustees Limited and the Free Church of Scotland’s Investment Committee.


John Whiting CBE 
Former member of the Staffing and Equalities Committee until 30 June 2022

John Whiting CBE’s Board appointment concluded on 30 June 2022. He was a member of the Staffing and Equalities Committee. John also sat on an internal tax governance group. John was a nonexecutive director of HMRC until September 2019; he remained a director of the Taxation Disciplinary Board until May 2023 and is Chair of the UK’s GAAR panel; until March 2017, he was Tax Director of the UK’s Office of Tax Simplification (OTS). Other previous roles include Tax Policy Director of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, many years as a tax partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers and membership of the First-Tier Tax Tribunal.


Lynn Bradley 
Former Chair and Member of the Audit and Risk Committee until 30 June 2022

Lynn Bradley was Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee until 31 December 2021. Her Board appointment concluded on 30 June 2022. Lynn Bradley is an accountant with more than 30 years’ experience in the Scottish public and private sectors. Previous roles include Director of Corporate Programmes and Performance at Audit Scotland and Chair of CIPFA Scotland. She currently lectures in the Adam Smith Business School at the University of Glasgow and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) Audit and Assurance panel. She is also a trustee of Cash for Kids (Radio Clyde).

Corporate Governance Report 

Senior Leadership Team 2022-23

Elaine Lorimer – Chief Executive 
Elaine Lorimer joined Revenue Scotland as its Chief Executive in March 2016. She is an experienced Chief Executive who has more than 25 years’ leadership experience, working at senior management and board level in the UK Civil Service in a diverse range of organisations covering regulation and operational delivery. She joined Revenue Scotland from the Law Commission of England and Wales, where she was Chief Executive. Prior to that, Elaine worked as a senior legal adviser in local government in Scotland, latterly focusing on regional transport including the privatisation of the railways and introducing alternative funding models to major investments in infrastructure. 

Michael Paterson – Head of Tax 
Michael Paterson joined Revenue Scotland in March 2019 and has lead responsibility for the administration and compliance of the devolved taxes, ensuring they are collected and administered efficiently and effectively. Michael has extensive knowledge and operational experience of UK taxes, particularly those dealing with international matters, resulting from 30 years as a senior tax professional with HMRC. His wide-ranging and senior tax roles have been in areas such as technical, policy, investigations and management. 

Neil Ferguson – Head of Corporate Functions
Neil Ferguson has worked on devolved taxes since 2012 and been with Revenue Scotland since 2016. He has responsibility for six teams: People Services, Governance, Statistics and Management Information, Strategy and Communications, Finance and IT. Prior to his current post, he worked on the Additional Dwelling Supplement, led the Air Departure Tax programme and the development of Corporate Plans. With the Scottish Government, he was Bill Team Leader for the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (Scotland) Bill. He also worked on the Referendum Bill and the introduction of the Home Report, which transformed the approach to the buying and selling of homes in Scotland. 

Mairi Gibson – Head of Legal Services
Mairi Gibson joined Revenue Scotland in February 2020. She has been a government lawyer since 1998. Over the years she has been seconded to various posts within the Government Legal Service for Scotland including the Scottish Government Legal Directorate, Scottish Parliament and the Office of the Advocate General.

Statement of the Accountable Officer’s responsibilities

Under section 19(4) of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000, Scottish Ministers have directed Revenue Scotland to prepare for each financial year a statement of accounts in the form and on the basis set out in the Accounts Direction. The accounts are prepared on an accruals basis and must give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of Revenue Scotland and of its income and expenditure, Statement of Financial Position and cash flows for the financial year. 

In preparing the accounts, the Accountable Officer is required to comply with the requirements of the Government Financial Reporting Manual (FReM) and to:

observe the Accounts Direction issued by Scottish Ministers, including the relevant accounting and disclosure requirements, and apply suitable accounting policies on a consistent basis

make judgements and estimates on a reasonable basis

state whether applicable accounting standards as set out in the Government Financial Reporting Manual have been followed, and disclose and explain any material departures in the financial statements

prepare the financial statements on a going concern basis

confirm that the Annual Report and Accounts as a whole is fair, balanced and understandable. The Accountable Officer takes personal responsibility for the Annual Report and Accounts and the judgements required for determining that it is fair, balanced and understandable.

The Permanent Secretary of the Scottish Government (SG), who is the Principal Accountable Officer for the Scottish Administration has designated, in accordance with sections 14 and 15 of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000, the Chief Executive of Revenue Scotland as Accountable Officer for Revenue Scotland. 

The responsibilities of an Accountable Officer, including responsibility for the propriety and regularity of the public finances for which they are answerable, for keeping proper records and for safeguarding the Revenue Scotland’s assets, are set out in the Scottish Public Finance Manual. 

The Accountable Officer may consult with the SG Chief Financial Officer (CFO) on any aspects of the duties applying to Accountable Officers in the Scottish Administration. The Accountable Officer must consult the CFO on any action which they consider is inconsistent with their duties on financial, regulatory or propriety grounds, and specifically where they seek written authority from the Scottish Ministers or a direction from the Board of Revenue Scotland. In practice, the Chief Executive will delegate authority widely to other employees of Revenue Scotland but cannot, on that account, disclaim responsibility. The Chief Executive is responsible for informing the Principal Accountable Officer about any complaints about Revenue Scotland accepted by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) for investigation and about the response to any subsequent recommendations from the SPSO.

As the Accountable Officer, I have taken all the steps that I ought to have taken to make myself aware of any relevant audit information and to establish that Revenue Scotland’s auditors are aware of that information. So far as I am aware, there is no relevant audit information of which the auditors are unaware. 

I confirm that this Annual Report and Accounts, taken as a whole, is fair, balanced and understandable, and I take personal responsibility for the Annual Report and Accounts and the judgements required for determining that it is fair, balanced and understandable. 

Governance Statement

In the paragraphs below, I report on the governance arrangements in place within Revenue Scotland.

Governance Framework 

Revenue Scotland is responsible for the administration and collection of Scotland’s wholly devolved taxes. The relevant powers and duties of Revenue Scotland, and of the Scottish Ministers are set out in the Revenue Scotland and Tax Powers Act 2014. 

Scottish Ministers are responsible for appointing the Board of Revenue Scotland following a public appointment exercise, regulated by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland. 

Ministers must not direct, or otherwise seek to control Revenue Scotland in the exercise of its functions but they may give guidance. This guidance must be published and laid before the Scottish Parliament unless Ministers consider that to do so would prejudice the effective exercise by Revenue Scotland of its functions. Scottish Ministers are responsible for setting rates, bands and thresholds relating to the devolved taxes, subject to the approval of the Scottish Parliament. 

The Board of Revenue Scotland is collectively responsible for the leadership and direction of the organisation and for ensuring that it carries out its statutory functions effectively and efficiently. It may delegate any of its functions to an individual Board member, a committee of the Board, the Chief Executive, or any other staff member, but it will retain its responsibility for carrying out its function. 

As the Chief Executive of Revenue Scotland, I am employed by, and accountable to, the Board of Revenue Scotland for the day-to-day running of the organisation and its operational performance. In this role, I seek assurance that appropriate controls are in place across the organisation, and in respect of the partners whom we rely on to support us in delivering our objectives. I can confirm that these have been in operation during 2022-23 and to the date of signing these accounts. 

I am supported by the Senior Leadership Team (SLT), who oversee the day-to-day business of Revenue Scotland, with each member taking responsibility for a specific area. The SLT is made up of the Chief Executive, the Head of Tax, the Head of Corporate Functions and the Head of Legal Services.

Operation of the Board and committees 

The Board is responsible for the functions and powers of Revenue Scotland and delegates authority to staff through a Scheme of Internal Delegation. The Board sets the strategic direction for the organisation, oversees Revenue Scotland’s work and monitors performance including the design and operation of risk and governance frameworks. They do this through scrutiny and, where appropriate, approval of: 

corporate plans and business plans

  • key strategies and policies
  • regular reports, including reports relating to risk management, performance, tax compliance, business continuity, staff, health, safety and wellbeing, and changes in the devolved taxes
  • scrutiny of the Annual Reports and Accounts
  • reports from the Audit and Risk and Staffing and Equalities Committees
  • strategic engagement with key partners and service users

I can report that during 2022-23 the Board met on seven occasions, including a strategy meeting (2021-22: eight). During this time the Board scrutinised and considered a number of specific matters including: 

  • decisions relating to the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund
  • oversight of Revenue Scotland’s review of its future operating model and approach to hybrid working 
  • oversight of tax and litigation cases and the implications for the organisation following the outcomes
  • strategic oversight of the development of our Tax Settlement and Litigation Principles
  • reviewing the terms of reference for the Staffing and Equalities Committee, and the Audit and Risk Committee, to ensure they continue to meet the needs of the Board
  • approval of revisions to governance documents, including the Scheme of Internal Delegation and the Code of Conduct for Revenue Scotland Board members.

Audit and Risk Committee 

The purpose of the Audit and Risk Committee is to support the Board and Accountable Officer by reviewing the comprehensiveness, reliability and integrity of the assurances produced in support of the financial statements. The terms of reference of the committee are published on Revenue Scotland’s website within the Board’s Standing Orders. 

The committee fulfils its role through:

  • scrutiny of risk management arrangements
  • regular liaison with internal and external audit and scrutiny of their plans and reports
  • considering and monitoring of responses to recommendations from internal and external auditors and other bodies
  • review of the certificates of assurance produced by management as part of the financial reporting process and the Chief Executive’s governance statement, and
  • overseeing the financial reporting process

Members of the committee during 2022-23 were Martin McEwen (Chair), Simon Cunningham, Robert MacIntosh and Lynn Bradley (until 30 June 2022). 

The committee is also attended by the Chief Executive, Head of Corporate Functions, Head of Legal Services, Head of Tax, Head of Governance, the Chief Accountant and representatives of internal and external audit as well as other staff as required. 

I can report that during 2022-23 the committee met seven times (2021-22: five). 

The committee reviewed its effectiveness, using the checklist set out in the Scottish Government’s Audit Committee Handbook, in early 2023-24 and found no issues of concern which could affect its normal function.

Staffing and Equalities Committee 

The Staffing and Equalities Committee advises and provides assurance to the Revenue Scotland Board and Accountable Officer on issues relating to: people; equality, diversity and inclusion; and health, safety and wellbeing. 

During 2022-23, the Revenue Scotland Board reviewed the operation of the committee and agreed to pilot changes during 2023-24 aimed at ensuring a more strategic focus for the committee. 

The terms of reference for the committee are published on Revenue Scotland’s website within the Board’s Standing Orders. 

Members of the committee during 2022–23 were Jean Lindsay (Chair), Idong Usoro, Ken Macintosh and John Whiting (until 30 June 2022). Staff attendees comprise the Chief Executive, Head of Corporate Functions, Head of Legal Services, Head of Tax, Head of People Services and Head of Governance. Further staff members attend as required. 

I can report that during 2022-23, the committee met three times (2021-22: three) and engaged in a number of relevant matters including supporting the development and scrutiny of:

  • the People Strategy and action plan
  • workforce planning
  • health, safety and wellbeing
  • equality, diversity and inclusion.

Assurances provided to the Chief Executive 

I have received written assurances from members of my Heads of Service who have responsibility for the operation and effectiveness of internal controls within the Tax, Legal and Corporate Functions teams. I can report that no significant matters were raised with me. 

The 2021-22 report highlighted the need to continue to strengthen health and safety systems within Revenue Scotland. I am happy to note that progress has been made over the last year, particularly in respect of the arrangements for landfill site visits. At the time of writing, I am pleased to report that landfill site visits by Revenue Scotland staff are now able to resume. As we look ahead to the aggregates tax coming on stream, we are committed to further strengthening our health and safety controls as we become exposed to an additional high risk industry. We recognise the importance of proactively addressing potential risks and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements in order to provide a safe system of work for our staff. 

I have also received assurance from the Accountable Officer of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) in respect of the statutory functions delegated to them by Revenue Scotland. No significant issues were raised with me as part of this process. 

For those services which Revenue Scotland receives from the Scottish Government, I have received assurance from the Scottish Government’s Chief Financial Officer in respect of financial systems, the Scottish Government’s Director for People in respect of Human Resources (HR) services and payroll systems shared with Revenue Scotland and from the Scottish Government’s Director of Digital, regarding digital corporate services shared with Revenue Scotland. No significant issues were raised with me as part of these. In conclusion, I can confirm that, based on the aforementioned written assurances received, there were no significant control weaknesses identified in the period under review.

Report on personal data incidents 

Revenue Scotland manages, maintains and protects all information according to the requirements of relevant legislation, its own information policies and best practice. 

Revenue Scotland has an Information Assurance Governance structure which prioritises and manages information risks. 

The governance structure:

  • protects the organisation, its staff and our service users from information risks where the likelihood of occurrence and the consequences are significant
  • ensures adherence with statutory duties and
  • assists in safeguarding Revenue Scotland’s information assets. 

Revenue Scotland has a Senior Information Risk Owner (SIRO) and a number of Information Asset Owners (IAOs), who provide assurance to the SIRO that proper controls are in place. The SIRO role is to ensure information security policies and procedures are fit for purpose and are reviewed and implemented across all of Revenue Scotland’s business functions.

The IAOs are tasked with ensuring compliance with statutory duties, knowing what information assets they ‘own’ and what information they handle. They also ensure the relevant security requirements, sensitivity, importance and protocols for sharing of information assets. 

During the course of the year, there were eight issues relating to minor data losses, which were reported and dealt with internally. The losses were resolved quickly, and mitigations put in place. None of the losses met the threshold of being reportable to the Information Commissioner’s Office. There were no security incidents involving any physical losses such as paper files or laptops.

Parliamentary scrutiny 

As a Non-Ministerial Office, Revenue Scotland is accountable to the Scottish Parliament and, as such, can be called to appear before parliamentary committees to provide updates on operational matters, give evidence on tax related matters or provide written statements. 

Revenue Scotland’s Corporate Plan, supporting legislation and this Annual Report are published documents. The Corporate Plan 2021-24, on which this document reports, was approved by Scottish Ministers and laid before the Scottish Parliament in November 2021 and this report will be laid before Parliament in November 2023. 

Corporate plans, all annual reports and accounts and minutes of Revenue Scotland Board meetings are available on our website.

Internal Audit 

The Scottish Government’s Directorate for Internal Audit and Assurance (DIAA) provide Revenue Scotland’s internal audit service. 

DIAA produce an annual audit plan which is reviewed by the Audit and Risk Committee, who provide advice on the plan to the Board and the Accountable Officer. Regular updates on progress against the audit plan are presented by DIAA to the Audit and Risk Committee’s meetings. 

During the year, DIAA completed audits on the following

  • The review of Equalities and Diversity evaluated Revenue Scotland’s approach to embedding consideration of equality and diversity as part of strategic and operational decision-making. An upper end of ‘reasonable’ assurance rating was awarded. The report indicated that Revenue Scotland was well placed to achieve its ambition to fully embed consideration of equality and diversity throughout its decision-making. Areas of improvement were identified which will: help ensure that there is a greater focus given at the strategic level; that effort is focused on areas of greatest impact and need; and that communications around outcomes are targeted towards those who will benefit most.
  • The review of Litigation Decisions considered Revenue Scotland’s processes and governance around taking and responding to complex litigation decisions. An upper end of ‘reasonable’ assurance rating was awarded. The report concluded that the organisation had developed an effective approach to litigation decisions. Areas for further improvement were identified to: further formalise the process and bring greater clarity and transparency to support those involved; build in resilience and scalability; and identify further opportunities to enhance processes.
  • The review of Revenue Scotland’s Hybrid Working Pilot examined whether the organisation’s approach to considering and piloting hybrid working supports conclusions reached regarding next steps in moving out of the pilot and into business as usual. A ‘substantial’ assurance rating was awarded in respect of this review. The report supported the approach that had been taken, which was seen to reflect good practice, and the conclusions reached regarding the next steps in moving out of the pilot and into the next stage.

In addition, a follow up review was conducted in respect of the 2021-22 Review of Capability and Capacity. This review considered the work that had been undertaken to better understand Revenue Scotland’s organisational capacity and better understand what is optimum for the organisation. The review concluded that further work was required and commended the good progress that had been made in researching available data and understanding the approaches taken in other organisations. 

The overall annual assessment of Revenue Scotland’s internal controls provided by DIAA is ‘substantial’. This means that DIAA continues to view Revenue Scotland’s risk, governance, and control procedures to be effective in supporting the delivery of its objectives

This is the third year running that Revenue Scotland has achieved such a rating and is a significant achievement for the organisation. This rating is testament to the importance placed on ensuring that risk, governance and control procedures are effective and continually reviewed and improved. DIAA noted that their work consistently obtains evidence of a strong culture and ‘tone from the top’ regarding the maintenance of control over key processes and embedding effective governance. They also welcomed the action that had taken place to build in further resilience to staff turnover, which was an issue identified in their previous annual assurance report. 

Members of both the Board and the Audit and Risk Committee are delighted with this achievement and are committed to ensuring that this high standard is maintained in future years.

External Audit 

External Audit is provided by Audit Scotland. Pauline Gillen, Audit Director is appointed under the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 to carry out the external audit of Revenue Scotland and the devolved taxes. During the year, the Audit and Risk Committee scrutinised Audit Scotland’s audit plan and received regular updates from them. The Independent Auditor’s Report can be found on page 81. As part of the 2021-22 audit undertaken by Audit Scotland, two matters were highlighted for attention, namely:

Issue Risk Action taken


Contingent assets: deferrals


Contingent assets may be overstated

The process was revised to ensure reviewsare conducted on timeand properly evidenced


Payables controls


Devolved tax payables balance could be overstated

Investigation of historical credit balances was undertaken while developing internal processes to corrections

Audit Scotland has reviewed these during their audit of 2022-23 and reported its conclusions in its Annual Audit Report 2022-23. Audit Scotland identified a small number of control weaknesses during the audit. These related to:

 - one instance of a lack of evidence authorising the creation of a new user account on SETS; 

- no regular account management meetings with the supplier of the tax finance system. 

Arrangements have been put in place to correct these weaknesses.

Assessment of corporate governance 

Revenue Scotland has in place a system of internal controls and policies, which are designed to safeguard its assets, data and ensure the reliability of financial records in relation to operational and tax duties. 

I have ensured that these controls have been subject to review by management on a regular basis. This has been facilitated through the implementation of a new assurance mapping process which was developed during the year and included a detailed review of all of our internal controls. As part of this process, controls will be reviewed monthly alongside our key corporate risks. 

Our internal controls also undergo formal review by both Internal and External Audit, whose reports are made available to the Audit and Risk Committee. Having assessed our corporate governance arrangements, I confirm that they comply with generally accepted best practice principles and relevant guidance.

Risk management 

I have assessed our risk management arrangements and confirm that they are in accordance with the guidance set out in the Scottish Public Finance Manual. The year-end Certificates of Assurance include a dedicated section assessing the effectiveness of Revenue Scotland’s risk management approach over the year and no significant control matters were raised. This, alongside the assessment of risk throughout the year, contributes to my overall confidence assessment offered; further confirming that robust arrangements and practices were in operation throughout 2022-23.

Remuneration and Staff Report


The remuneration of senior civil servants is set in accordance with the rules set out in chapter 7.1, Annex A of the Civil Service Management Code and in conjunction with independent advice from the Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB). In reaching its recommendations, the SSRB is to have regard to the following considerations:

  • the need to recruit, retain and motivate suitably able and qualified people to exercise their different responsibilities
  • regional/local variations in labour markets and their effects on the recruitment and retention of staff 
  • government policies for improving the public services including the requirement on departments to meet the output targets for the delivery of departmental services
  • the funds available to departments as set out in the Government’s departmental expenditure limits 
  • the Government’s inflation target
  • evidence they receive about wider economic considerations and the affordability of their recommendations

Further information about the work of the SSRB can be found in the UK Government website. 

The remuneration of non-senior civil servants within Revenue Scotland is set in accordance with Scottish Government Public Sector Pay Policy 2022-23 as part of the Scottish Government Main Bargaining Unit. 

Revenue Scotland’s Board members are non-executive and receive fees for duties on behalf of Revenue Scotland, including attendance at Revenue Scotland Board and committee meetings. Fees are paid at the daily rate set out in their letters of appointment and increased annually in line with the Scottish Government Public Sector Pay Policy. Expenses incurred in carrying out these duties are also reimbursed

Fees of Board members and salaries of the Senior Leadership Team are shown below

Non-executive Board







Aidan O’Carroll Chair 10-15 10-15
Simon Cunningham Board member 5-10 5-10
Jean Lindsay Board member 0-5 5-10
Ken Macintosh Boardmember from 1 June  2022 0-5 0
Robert MacIntosh Boardmember from 1 June  2022 0-5 0
Martin McEwen Board member 0-5 5-10
Idong Usoro Boardmember from 1 June  2022 5-10 0
Lynn Bradley Boardmember until 30 June  2022 0-5 0-5
John Whiting CBE Boardmember until 30 June  2022 0-5 0-5

Non-executive Board members are not employees of Revenue Scotland and do not benefit from pension arrangements

Senior Leadership Team Salary £000

Pension Benefits to the nearest


Total 2022-23


Total 2021-22


  2022-23 2021-22 2022-23 2021-22    
Elaine Lorimer Chief Executive 105-110 95-100 19,000 18,000 125-130 115-120
Neil Ferguson Head of Corporate Functions













Mairi Gibson Head of Legal  Services













Michael Paterson Head of Tax 80-85 75-80 0 1,0005 80-85 75-80

None of the above received any benefits in kind or bonus payments in the years 2022-23 or 2021-22. Salary covers both pensionable and non-pensionable amounts and includes, gross salaries; overtime; recruitment and retention allowances; or other allowances to the extent that they are subject to UK taxation and any ex gratia payments. It does not include amounts which are a reimbursement of expenses directly incurred in the performance of an individual’s duties. The value of pension benefits accrued during the year is calculated as (the real increase in pension multiplied by 20) plus (the real increase in any lump sum) less (the contributions made by the individual). The real increases exclude increases due to inflation, or any increase or decreases due to a transfer of pension rights.

Fair pay disclosure 

Reporting bodies are required to disclose the percentage increase in pay from the previous financial year for the highest-paid director in their organisation and the average percentage increase for all employees of the organisation. In 2022-23 the mid-point of the band of the highest-paid member of the Senior Leadership Team increased by 10% from 2021-22. The increase in pay of the highest-paid member of the Senior Leadership Team resulted from a grading review in recognition of the duties of the role. The average increase for all other employees was 4%. Actual grade pay increases varied from 3% to 5%. 

Reporting bodies are also required to disclose pay-ratio information for the highest-paid director and median and quartile employee pay.

Year   25th percentile Median 75th percentile
2022-23 Ratio 3.6 2.8 2.2
  Employee pay £29,695 £38,329 £49,860
2021-22 Ratio 3.9 3.1 2.3
  Employee pay £27,231 £34,600 £47,485

Comparative figures for 2021-22 have been restated following a review of the data. No employee received remuneration in excess of the highest-paid member of the Senior Leadership Team. Remuneration ranged from £19,000 to £107,000 (2021-22: £21,000 to £99,000).

Pension benefits

Senior Leadership Team

Accrued pension at NRA as at 31 March 2023 and related lump sum


Real increase in pension and related lump sum at



CETV as at 31 March 2023





CETV as at 31 March 2022





Real increase in CETV in 2022-23




Elaine Lorimer – Chief


50-55 plus a lump sum of


0-2.5 plus a lumpsum

of 0







Neil Ferguson – Head of Corporate Functions











Mairi Gibson – Head

of Legal Services











Michael Paterson

– Headof Tax

45-50 plus a lump sum of


0 plus a lump

sum of 0







Pension benefits are calculated on normal retirement age (NRA) where the pension entitlement is due at that age or at current age if over NRA. The above pension data was supplied to Revenue Scotland by MyCSP, pension administrators

Civil Service pensions 

Pension benefits are provided through the Civil Service pension arrangements. From 1 April 2015 a new pension scheme for civil servants was introduced – the Civil Servants and Others Pension Scheme or alpha, which provides benefits on a career average basis with a normal pension age equal to the member’s State Pension Age (or 65 if higher). From that date, all newly appointed civil servants and the majority of those already in service joined alpha. Prior to that date, civil servants participated in the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS). The PCSPS has four sections: three providing benefits on a final salary basis (classic, premium or classic plus) with a normal pension age of 60; and one providing benefits on a whole career basis (nuvos) with a normal pension age of 65. 

These statutory arrangements are unfunded with the cost of benefits met by monies voted by Parliament each year. Pensions payable under classic, premium, classic plus, nuvos and alpha are increased annually in line with Pensions Increase legislation. Existing members of the PCSPS who were within 10 years of their normal pension age on 1 April 2012 remained in the PCSPS after 1 April 2015. Those who were between 10 years and 13 years and 5 months from their normal pension age on 1 April 2012 switch into alpha sometime between 1 June 2015 and 1 February 2022. The Government plans to remove discrimination identified by the courts in the way that the 2015 pension reforms were introduced for some members. As a result, eligible members with relevant service between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2022 may be entitled to different pension benefits in relation to that period (and this may affect the Cash Equivalent Transfer.

Values shown in this report – see below). All members who switch to alpha have their PCSPS benefits ‘banked’, with those with earlier benefits in one of the final salary sections of the PCSPS having those benefits based on their final salary when they leave alpha. (The pension figures quoted for officials show pension earned in PCSPS or alpha – as appropriate. Where the official has benefits in both the PCSPS and alpha, the figure quoted is the combined value of their benefits in the two schemes.) Members joining from October 2002 may opt for either the appropriate defined benefit arrangement or a defined contribution (money purchase) pension with an employer contribution (partnership pension account). 

Employee contributions are salary-related and range between 4.6% and 8.05% for members of classic, premium, classic plus, nuvos and alpha. Benefits in classic accrue at the rate of 1/80th of final pensionable earnings for each year of service. In addition, a lump sum equivalent to three years initial pension is payable on retirement. For premium, benefits accrue at the rate of 1/60th of final pensionable earnings for each year of service. Unlike classic, there is no automatic lump sum. Classic plus is essentially a hybrid with benefits for service before 1 October 2002 calculated broadly as per classic and benefits for service from October 2002 worked out as in premium. In nuvos a member builds up a pension based on his pensionable earnings during their period of scheme membership. At the end of the scheme year (31 March) the member’s earned pension account is credited with 2.3% of their pensionable earnings in that scheme year and the accrued pension is uprated in line with Pensions Increase legislation. Benefits in alpha build up in a similar way to nuvos, except that the accrual rate is 2.32%.

In all cases members may opt to give up (commute) pension for a lump sum up to the limits set by the Finance Act 2004. 

The partnership pension account is an occupational defined contribution pension arrangement which is part of the Legal & General Mastertrust. The employer makes a basic contribution of between 8.0% and 14.75% (depending on the age of the member). The employee does not have to contribute, but where they do make contributions, the employer will match these up to a limit of 3.0% of pensionable salary (in addition to the employer’s basic contribution). Employers also contribute a further 0.5% of pensionable salary to cover the cost of centrally provided risk benefit cover (death in service and ill health retirement). 

The accrued pension quoted is the pension the member is entitled to receive when they reach pension age, or immediately on ceasing to be an active member of the scheme if they are already at or over pension age. Pension age is 60 for members of classic, premium and classic plus, 65 for members of nuvos, and the higher of 65 or State Pension Age for members of alpha. (The pension figures quoted for officials show pension earned in PCSPS or alpha – as appropriate. Where the official has benefits in both the PCSPS and alpha the figure quoted is the combined value of their benefits in the two schemes, but note that part of that pension may be payable from different ages). 

Further details about the Civil Service pension arrangements can be found at the website

Cash equivalent transfer values 

A Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV) is the actuarially assessed capitalised value of the pension scheme benefits accrued by a member at a particular point in time. The benefits valued are the member’s accrued benefits and any contingent spouse’s pension payable from the scheme. A CETV is a payment made by a pension scheme or arrangement to secure pension benefits in another pension scheme or arrangement when the member leaves a scheme and chooses to transfer the benefits accrued in their former scheme. The pension figures shown relate to the benefits that the individual has accrued as a consequence of their total membership of the pension scheme, not just their service in a senior capacity to which disclosure applies. 

The figures include the value of any pension benefit in another scheme or arrangement, which the member has transferred to the Civil Service pension arrangements. They also include any additional pension benefit accrued to the member as a result of their buying additional pension benefits at Their own cost. CETVs are worked out in accordance with The Occupational Pension Schemes (Transfer Values) (Amendment) Regulations 2008 and do not take account of any actual or potential reduction to benefits resulting from Lifetime Allowance Tax, which may be due when pension benefits are taken.

Real increase in CETV 

This reflects the increase in CETV that is funded by the employer. It does not include the increase in accrued pension due to inflation, contributions paid by the employee (including the value of any benefits transferred from another pension scheme or arrangement) and uses common market valuation factors for the start and end of the period. 

Staff report 

Staff of Revenue Scotland are civil servants, part of the Scottish Administration, rather than the Scottish Government, and are required to adhere to the standards set out in the Civil Service Code applicable to staff in non-ministerial offices in Scotland. The code sets out the framework within which all civil servants work, and the core values and standards of behaviour which they are expected to uphold. Staff are appointed by Revenue Scotland and act under the direction of the Board of Revenue Scotland. Revenue Scotland is responsible for ensuring that staff recruitment arrangements are fair, open and transparent in line with the Civil Service Commissioners’ Recruitment Principles. All recruitment, including for Senior Civil Service posts, adhere to the Scottish Government’s recruitment policies and procedures. 

Average number of people employed 

The average number of whole-time equivalent people employed during the year was as follows

  2022-23 2021-22
Permanent contracted staff 76 68
Fixed term contracted staff 2 1
Seconded in or on loanstaff 2 1
Seconded out staff 1 1
Agency staff 2 5
Average number of persons employed 83 76

The staff numbers shown above for 2022-23 and 2021-22 include 1 FTE for a member of staff who is seconded to Scottish Government and whose staff costs are recharged.

Staff composition 

The average number of people of each sex employed by Revenue Scotland by category is set out in the following table. The numbers include permanent and temporary staff

  Female Male Female Male
SLT – Chief Executive 1 0 1 0
SLT – Others 1 2 1 2
Employees 41 38 39 33
Total 43 40 41 35

Gender pay gap 

The gender pay gap is calculated as the difference between average hourly earnings of men and women as a proportion of average hourly earnings (excluding overtime) of men’s earnings. A positive pay gap means that men earn more than women on average. 

The gender pay gap is a means of highlighting a disparity in the pay received by men and women. It is influenced by both the pay levels for equivalent jobs and the distribution of men and women across the grades within the permanent workforce. 

In 2022 the gender pay gap for Scotland was 10.9% and 13.9% for the UK.7 This is the mean figure which is the standard figure used by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) to calculate the pay gap. Data for 2023 has not yet been published by the ONS. 

The mean gender pay gap for all staff at Revenue Scotland at the end of March 2023 is 3.1% (2022: -1.1% restated from 0.0%). The movement arises from changes in the gender mix of staff at March in each financial year as represented in the table above, as well as changes in grades of those staff. 

Within Revenue Scotland, where men and women are undertaking work of an equal value (i.e. within the same pay range) they are paid a similar rate. A pay gap can arise if a higher percentage of female staff are at lower grades than male staff, and the size of the organisation means that figures can be disproportionately affected by a small change in composition. It should be noted that the pay gap is calculated at a point in time and can move significantly from month to month.

Sickness absence 

Revenue Scotland recognises that the success of any organisation depends largely on the effective performance and full attendance of all its employees. People are a valued resource, and as an employer, Revenue Scotland’s attendance management procedures are designed to maintain a happy, well-motivated and healthy workforce. The procedures aim to: 

  • be supportive and positive 
  • promote fair and consistent treatment for everyone 
  • encourage, assist and support people to stay in work 
  • explain employees’ entitlements and roles and responsibilities. 

In 2022-23 an average of 11.5 working days per employee were lost (2021-22: 9 days). 


Staff churn, which includes staff leaving Revenue Scotland for positions within the wider Scottish Administration, was 9.8% in 2022-23 (2021-22: 29.8%). Staff turnover, defined as excluding staff moving to other Scottish Administration bodes, was 2.5% in 2022-23 (2021-22: 8.5%)

Staff engagement 

Revenue Scotland participates in the Civil Service People Survey and includes the employee engagement index as one of the key performance indicators. More information on this is given on page 38 under KPI 6. 

Employees with disabilities 

Revenue Scotland complies with the Scottish Government’s Civil Service Code of Practice on the employment of people with disabilities. The code aims to ensure that there is no discrimination on the grounds of disability and that employment opportunities and career advancement is based solely on ability, qualifications and suitability for the work. 

Diversity and equality 

Equality and diversity are central to the way that Revenue Scotland conducts its business and this is demonstrated in the Corporate Plan and People Strategy, as well as being set out in the Equality Mainstreaming Reports. 

More information on Equality and Diversity can be found on page 41.

Health, safety and wellbeing 

Health and safety 

Health and safety is a key priority for Revenue Scotland and we are committed to ensuring that all employees are trained and aware of their responsibilities. Over the past year, we have implemented a range of initiatives to promote health and safety awareness and ensure training compliance. 

One of these initiatives is our mandatory health and safety training, which we conduct across the organisation. We have achieved a compliance rate of 90% for this training, and this demonstrates our commitment to promoting a safe and healthy workplace. 

The mandatory training covered a range of health and safety topics. It is designed to ensure all employees are aware of their responsibilities and understand the steps they need to take to maintain a safe and healthy workplace. 

Specialist first aid, fire marshal training and NEBOSH courses have been made available to staff to help them stay up to date with health and safety developments and best practices. 

Our Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee continues to meet on a quarterly basis to support the delivery of the organisation’s policy and improvement plans, providing oversight and scrutiny of reported information. We also undertake regular health and safety workplace inspections in partnership with our Trade Union colleagues to identify and address issues in the workplace.

As Revenue Scotland takes on new responsibilities, we recognise the importance of having appropriate ‘competent person’ advice in place to ensure that we continue to meet our legal obligations and operate in a safe and compliant manner. As such, we have taken action to commence procurement of an external ‘competent person’. This is to ensure that we continue to be provided with the necessary expert advice and guidance we require on current and future health and safety matters. 

Our Health and Safety Annual Report for 2022-23 sets out plans for the coming year and reports on risks and mitigations during the reporting year. Delivery of our improvement plan set out in the report depends on the active engagement and participation of all staff. We are committed to improving awareness and understanding of key health and safety processes, such as Display Screen Equipment (DSE) assessments and near miss reporting. 

To achieve this, we will develop a range of initiatives aimed at promoting awareness and encouraging staff to take an active role in health and safety management. By doing so, we can help to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for all staff and minimise the risk of accidents or incident

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) require that certain categories of accidents, occupational diseases and dangerous occurrences must be reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). There were no incidents of any of these categories reported in 2021-22 or 2022-23. 

Definitions for ‘Occupational Disease’ and ‘Dangerous Occurrence’ can be found on the HSE Website


Revenue Scotland prioritises the promotion of staff wellbeing. This helps us to create a positive and supportive workplace culture that fosters creativity, innovation, and collaboration. We are committed to continually reviewing and updating our staff wellbeing initiatives to ensure that we are providing the best possible support to our staff. 

Throughout the year we have held regular awareness sessions to promote staff wellbeing. These sessions have covered topics such as the menopause, cancer and diabetes. These provide staff with tools and resources to help them maintain their physical and mental health. 

We also encourage staff to take advantage of our employee assistance programme, which provides confidential counselling and support services to help staff manage personal or work-related challenges. Additionally, we offer flexible work arrangements and other benefits to help support the diverse needs of our staff.

Trade Union representatives 

The Trade Union (Facility Time Publication Requirements) Regulations came into force on 1 April 2017. One member of staff was a relevant trade union representative during the period December 2022 to March 2023. The time spent on trade union activities represented 7.2% of the employee’s total time during that period at a cost of £941. No employees were trade union representatives in 2021-22.

Civil Service early departure compensation schemes 

Redundancy and other departure costs are paid in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service Compensation Scheme, a statutory scheme made under the Superannuation Act 1972. These are employer costs associated with early departure and are accounted for in full in the year of departure. Where Revenue Scotland has agreed early retirements, the additional costs are met by Revenue Scotland and not the Civil Service pension scheme. Ill-health retirement costs are met by the pension scheme and are not included in the undernoted. 

No members of staff left Revenue Scotland under the scheme in 2022-23 or 2021-22.

Staff costs

  Administrative and Programme costs

Total 2022-23



Total 2021-22



Permanently employed




Wages and salaries 3,273 186 3,459 2,830
Social security costs 368 22 390 294
Pension costs 887 54 941 778
Seconded-in staff costs 0 21 21 76
Agency staff costs 0 93 93 346
Staff costs capitalised 0 0 0 0
Total staff costs 4,528 376 4,904 4,324

Staff costs for Revenue Scotland in the period 2022-23 are set out above. Wages and salaries include gross salaries, performance pay or bonuses received in year (of which there were none), overtime and any other allowance that is subject to UK taxation. The payment of legitimate expenses is not part of salary.

The Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS) and the Civil Servant and Other Pension Scheme (CSOPS) – known as ‘alpha’ – are unfunded multi-employer defined benefit schemes. However Revenue Scotland is unable to identify its share of the underlying assets and liabilities. The scheme actuary valued the PCSPS as at 31 March 2016. The schemes are accounted for as defined contribution schemes under the multi-employer exemption permitted under IAS19 employee benefits. You can find details in the resource accounts of the Cabinet Office: Civil Superannuation. 

For 2022-23, employers’ contributions of £941,000 were payable to the PCSPS (2021-22: £775,000) at one of four rates in the range 26.6% to 30.3% of pensionable earnings, based on salary bands. 

The Scheme Actuary reviews employer contributions usually every four years following a full scheme valuation. The contribution rates are set to meet the cost of the benefits accruing during 2022-23 to be paid when the member retires and not the benefits paid during this period to existing pensioners.

Employees can opt to open a partnership pension account, which is a stakeholder pension with an employer contribution. Employers’ contributions of £nil (2021-22: £2,600) were paid to one or more of the panel of three appointed stakeholder pension providers. Employer contributions are age-related and range from 8% to 14.75%. Employers also match employee contributions up to 3% of pensionable earnings. 

The information included within the remuneration, fair pay, pension benefits, Civil Service early departure compensation packages, average number of persons employed and staff costs sections above are covered by the audit opinion.

Elaine Lorimer – Chief Executive of Revenue Scotland and Accountable Officer