Scottish Partnerships (Register of People with Significant Control) Regulations 2017 (Compliance)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 23rd January 2019.

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Photo of Andy Wightman Andy Wightman Green

1. To ask the Scottish Government how many proceedings have been raised against Scottish limited partnerships for failure to comply with the Scottish Partnerships (Register of People with Significant Control) Regulations 2017, and how many convictions there were. (S5O-02799)

The Lord Advocate (James Wolffe QC):

As of last Friday, the Crown has received no reports of alleged offences under the 2017 regulations. Accordingly, the Crown in Scotland has not raised any proceedings under those regulations.

Photo of Andy Wightman Andy Wightman Green

As of 10 December 2018, according to work that was undertaken by investigative journalist Richard Smith, just more than 2,700 of the 18,000 active SLPs had not submitted any information. As the Lord Advocate is aware, that is an offence.

In a written answer to a question I lodged on 19 March 2018, the Lord Advocate said that, o ver the past 10 years, there have been no prosecutions for failure to meet statutory provisions. He also said that the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service

“has recognised Companies House as a Specialist Reporting Agency” and is working with it

“to facilitate the reporting of alleged offences”.—[

Written Answers, 17 April 2018;


What progress has been made on that work, and are any prosecutions anticipated as a consequence, given the fact that the offences are very evident?

The Lord Advocate:

A number of cases have been reported to the Crown since that question was asked and answered. They have been reported by Companies House under section 451 of the Companies Act 2006 and are currently being considered. The Crown has continuing engagement with Companies House with a view to facilitating the reporting of other alleged offences, including those under the 2017 regulations.

It is a matter for Companies House, as a specialist reporting agency, to determine its approach to enforcement of the regulations.

Photo of Rona Mackay Rona Mackay Scottish National Party

All steps to improve transparency around SLPs are, of course, welcome. Does the Lord Advocate agreed that the proposed reforms that were announced by the United Kingdom Government in December last year, snuck out under the cloud of Brexit chaos, still fall far short of what is necessary to close the many loopholes that exist?

The Lord Advocate:

It would be more appropriate to direct that question to Derek Mackay. Questions of substance about the proposed reforms to the law are matters for him. I can deal with issues that relate to the investigation and prosecution of alleged offences under the regulations.

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

Indeed, Lord Advocate.