Directorates of the Scottish Government

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The work of the Scottish Government is carried out by Directorates, each headed by a Director. The Directorates are grouped into a number of Directorates-General families, each headed by a Director-General. However, the individual Directorates are the building blocks of the system. The Directorates are further broken down into "Divisions" and then by teams. Divisions usually consist of 25-50 people. There is no direct correspondence between the political responsibilities of the Ministers in the Scottish Government and the Directorates, although in some cases there is considerable overlap. The Directorates are also responsible for a number of government agencies and non-departmental public bodies. Some government work is also carried out by Executive Agencies such as Transport Scotland, who sit outside the Directorates structure, but are also staffed by civil servants

The current system of Directorates was created by a December 2010 re-organisation.[1] Prior to 2007 the Directorates were preceded by similar structures called "Departments" that no longer exist (although the word is still sometimes used in this context).[2]

The Office of the Permanent Secretary is headed by the Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans, who replaced Sir Peter Housden, in July 2015. The current structure of the directorates is given below.[3]

Organisational Development and Operations[edit]

Director-General, Lesley Fraser


  • Communications and Ministerial Support
  • Digital
  • Financial Management
  • People
  • Scottish Procurement and Commercial
  • Social Security


Director-General, Liz Ditchburn


  • Agriculture and Rural Economy
  • Chief Economist
  • Culture, Tourism and Major Events
  • Economic Development
  • Energy and Climate Change
  • Environment and Forestry
  • Fair Work, Employability and Skills
  • International Trade and Investment
  • Marine Scotland
  • Scottish National Investment Bank

Scottish Exchequer[edit]

Director-General, Alyson Stafford


  • Budget and Sustainability
  • Financial Strategy
  • Internal Audit
  • Performance and Strategic Outcomes
  • Taxation and Fiscal Sustainability

Health and Social Care[edit]

Director-General, Elinor Mitchell Chief Executive of NHS Scotland, John Connaghan


  • Chief Medical Officer
  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Health Finance, Corporate Governance and Value
  • Health Performance and Delivery
  • Health Workforce, Leadership and Service Transformation
  • Health and Social Care Integration
  • Healthcare Quality and Improvement
  • Mental Health
  • Office of the Chief Executive NHS Scotland
  • Population Health

Education, Communities and Justice[edit]

Director-General, Paul Johnston


  • Advanced Learning and Science
  • Children and Families
  • Early Learning and Childcare Programme
  • Housing and Social Justice
  • Justice
  • Learning
  • Local Government and Communities
  • Safer Communities

Constitution and External Affairs[edit]

Director-General, Ken Thomson


  • Constitution and Cabinet
  • External Affairs
  • Legal Services (Solicitor to the Scottish Government)
  • Parliamentary Counsel


  1. ^ "Paul Gray, Director-General Rural Affairs, Environment and Services". Scottish Government. Retrieved 7 May 2011. This notice refers to the transfer of the DG of the Scottish Government Environment Directorates in December 2010, and thus indirectly to this re-organisation.
  2. ^ "Reporting on 100 Days: Moving Scotland forward" Scottish Government. Retrieved 15 August 2009. "A new structure for Scotland's Government has been put in place, transforming the Departmental structure, moving from nine Heads of Department, to a Strategic Board with the Permanent Secretary and five Directors-General (DG), with each DG having responsibility for driving one of the Government's strategic objectives. Directors-General focus on the performance of the whole organisation against the Cabinet's agenda. The new structure means that the old Scottish Executive Departments no longer exist. Instead, each DG supports and manages a number of Directors, with these Directorates leading, presenting and developing policy for Ministers."
  3. ^ "The Civil Service". Scottish Government. Retrieved 2018-06-28.

External links[edit]