The power struggle over governance of certain administrative functions in the new single police force has been 95% resolved, the Justice Secretary has said.
The chief constable of the new Police Service of Scotland (PSoS) and the head of its scrutiny body, the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), are moving towards agreement on control of HR and finance functions of the force, Kenny MacAskill told MSPs.
PSoS Chief Constable Stephen House and SPA chairman Vic Emery have both sought legal advice over who controls police support staff in the Police And Fire Reform Act.
Mr MacAskill, speaking in a debate on police reform at Holyrood, insisted there is "no remaining contention about what the legislation says" and that the two men are "95% there" in settling the disagreement.
The only remaining point of discussion is on the reporting lines for the head of HR and finance, he said.
Mr MacAskill said: "The SPA and the chief constable are moving towards agreement. Indeed they are meeting again today as we speak. It is for them to determine how best to fulfil their responsibilities.
"There is no simple formula to say who will do what but it has never been the case that the chief constable wanted to control everything and nor was it the case that the SPA wanted to control police functions."
Labour justice spokesman Lewis Macdonald called for the dispute to be settled before Christmas to provide clarity for the 7,000 civilian police staff working across Scotland.
A letter from the Scottish Government's head of police and fire reform division, Christie Smith, took issue with Mr Emery's proposition that the SPA rather than the chief constable is responsible for the administration of the police service, Mr Macdonald said.
"If the police authority now accepts that view and seeks to make an agreement on that basis with the chief constable then progress can clearly be made. But if it does not or if agreement cannot be reached on the management and control of staffing and resources, it is the police service which will suffer," he said.