Magazine article Public Finance

New Scrutiny Chief Pledges Change

Magazine article Public Finance

New Scrutiny Chief Pledges Change

Article excerpt

Changes in Scotland's Best Value system will be overseen by Professor John Baillie, the newly appointed chair of the Accounts Commission, which is responsible for the audit of local government.

Baillie told Public Finance this week that it was likely that there would be more focus on community planning, outcomes, corporate processes and the style and content of reporting. 'Predominantly, there will be changes in emphasis,' he said.

Audit Scotland, which provides services for the commission, is reviewing the first round of Best Value studies. Councils have called for a more 'flexible, risk-based and proportionate' system.

Baillie, an accountant who has been appointed chair following four years as a member of the commission, said Best Value had come a long way since it was first introduced and had become established as a credible process.

But the system needed to be developed so that changes could be introduced in time for the second round of audits, due to start in 2009.

He added: "The new, developed process will respond to a number of points we have noticed and to points made by others. …

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