Section 51 – Information and annual report
167.This section obliges the Commission to provide information relating to the carrying out of its functions to the Scottish Ministers and to prepare an annual report on its activities. The report should be prepared as soon as practicable after the end of the financial year to which the report relates.
168.Subsection (3) states that the report has to include a statement of accounts prepared according to the audit and account requirements specified in paragraphs 33 and 34 of schedule 2. The report may also contain a statistical analysis of the performance of judicial officers during the reporting period or any other period. The statistical information can be on both official functions, such as enforcement of court decrees and documents of debt by diligence, and on any other activities, such as informal debt collection, which officers undertake.
169.In preparing the report, the Commission has the power to require a judicial officer to provide information it thinks necessary for the preparation of the report (subsection (4)). Failure to provide information is considered to be “misconduct” under section 67(9) and can be dealt with under the powers given to the disciplinary committee in section 72.
170.Subsections (5) and (6) provide that the Commission must publish and send a copy of each report to the Scottish Ministers, who must lay a copy before the Scottish Parliament. The report may be published electronically by virtue of section 78(a).