Magazine article Public Finance

Watchdog to Oversee Scottish Scrutiny

Magazine article Public Finance

Watchdog to Oversee Scottish Scrutiny

Article excerpt

The Scottish government has asked the Accounts Commission to co-ordinate the scrutiny of council functions until longer-term changes are made to the regulatory regime.

In its response to Professor Lome Crerar's report on the scrutiny of public bodies, the Scottish government says it will establish five short-term action groups. It will ask partners such as the Scottish Parliament local government and Audit Scotland to take forward the report's recommendations, most of which have been accepted by ministers.

The Crerar report, published in September, called for radical changes to the overcrowded landscape' of scrutiny bodies in Scotland. It proposed a cut in the 40-plus scrutiny bodies. Eleven of these have been set up since devolution in 1999.

As an immediate step, Crerar suggested that ministers should immediately identify and appoint a body to co-ordinate the scrutiny of local government until longer-term changes are made.

According to the response, the Accounts Commission, which is responsible for the audit of councils, will be invited to undertake that role. …

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