Magazine article Public Finance

Swinney's Call to Innovators

Magazine article Public Finance

Swinney's Call to Innovators

Article excerpt

Scotland's public finance professionals should not wait for political permission before innovating to reform and improve service delivery, Finance Secretary John Swinney told the CIPFA Scotland conference in Clydebank.

Swinney admitted to fears that the three-year £500m change funding, provided by the Scottish Government to drive reform, would become the focus for innovation, to the exclusion of the other £60bn being spent on Scottish public services over the same period.

'I would encourage this audience to think in a different way about how we innovate and not to wait for permission to be given by political leadership,' he said.

The shift to more preventive, collaborative and personalised services was 'a very exciting agenda, and it needs to activate every public servant in the land to think differently about how we operate'.

He said he had every confidence in the capacity of the accounting profession to meet the challenges of change. 'The finance professionals of Scotland have provided an important bulwark in managing a fundamentally more challenging financial environment, and that is something of which the financial professionals of Scotland should be proud.'

Swinney told the conference that Scottish ministers had used the paving legislation for the limited new tax powers devolved to Holyrood under the 2012 Scotland Act to pilot a tougher approach to tax collection and a more progressive fiscal strategy. …

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