Magazine article Public Finance

Scotland's Public Services Reform Bill Is 'Missed Opportunity', Says CIPFA

Magazine article Public Finance

Scotland's Public Services Reform Bill Is 'Missed Opportunity', Says CIPFA

Article excerpt

Leading finance officers believe that the Scottish Government has missed the chance to radically reform public services.

According to CIPFA, the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Bill does not do as its name implies and makes only a 'tentative step' towards reform and simplification.

The institute's view that the Bill does not go far enough is stressed in a submission it is due to make to the Scottish Parliament finance committee on September 9.

When the Bill was published in June, Finance Secretary John Swinney described it as 'another important milestone' in the Scottish Government's reform agenda.

The aim of the Bill is to abolish some specialist advisory bodies and merge quangos and inspectorates such as the Social Work Inspection Agency and the Care Commission.

In the submission, Angela Scott, head of CEPFA in Scotland, points out that the release of the Bill during an economic downturn provides a unique opportunity to test draft legislation in circumstances not envisaged when the need for public service reform first emerged. …

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