Magazine article Public Finance

Executive Investigates Inspection 'Overload'

Magazine article Public Finance

Executive Investigates Inspection 'Overload'

Article excerpt

The Scottish Executive is planning to review the multitude of bodies that regulate, inspect and audit local authorities.

Officials have revealed to Public Finance that the Executive is considering how best to carry out a review following concern about the pressures caused by the present level of regulation and scrutiny.

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and Edinburgh City Council have each carried out separate research that shows how the number of external bodies involved in scrutinising councils has soared.

These include the Accounts Commission, Care Commission, the recently formed Social Work Inspection Agency, the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland, Communities Scotland (which monitors housing standards), the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and police, schools and fire service inspectorates.

Edinburgh City Council says it is inspected by at least 13 different bodies. It claims there is unnecessary overlap and duplication and that officials spend a large amount of time preparing for inspections and carrying out other work that involves external scrutiny.

One senior local government source said: 'This is becoming something of an industry. …

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