Magazine article Public Finance

'Cluttered' Scrutiny System Needs Radical Reform, Say Scots Councils

Magazine article Public Finance

'Cluttered' Scrutiny System Needs Radical Reform, Say Scots Councils

Article excerpt

The system of scrutinising public services in Scotland is not 'fit for purpose' and needs to be radically reformed, council leaders and chief officials have concluded.

They have told a review committee headed by Professor Lome Crerar that there are too many bodies scrutinising local government 'with no unifying rationale or purpose, methodology, frequency of inspection, reporting arrangements or size of budget'.

The criticism of the current system of scrutiny and regulation is made by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers in a submission to the committee. Crerar is due to report in June to the post-election government.

Cosla and Solace believe that the landscape of external scrutiny is cluttered and results in confusion and duplication. They say not enough emphasis is put on supporting improvement or encouraging innovation.

The submission argues for a more corporate and integrated approach and says there is a strong case for streamlining the current arrangements to reduce the costs and the burdens on councils. …

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