Annual report 2020/21


2020/21 in numbers

288 accounts audited

13 national and local performance reports

12 Covid‑19 briefings, reports and technical guides

£46.8bn payments under Comptroller function

106,547 visitors to our website

Chair's welcome

Professor Alan Alexander OBE. Chair of the Audit Scotland Board

The Covid‑19 pandemic has underlined the crucial importance of public services and the people who deliver them.

In common with many others, I am deeply grateful to everyone who has worked so hard to support us during this crisis, to protect the health of our communities and to prepare for the rebuilding that will be essential when the pandemic recedes.

Professor Alan Alexander OBE
Chair of the Audit Scotland Board

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Accountable Officer’s report

Stephen Boyle. Accountable Officer and Auditor General for Scotland

Our role has been to continue to provide independent, robust public audit, while safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our colleagues.

The pandemic has brought the need for significant extra funding for public bodies, on top of previous increases in public spending in recent years. The assurance that public money is being spent properly and the help we give public services to improve is more important than ever.

Stephen Boyle
Accountable Officer and Auditor General for Scotland

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Our year


In focus: Resilience, wellbeing and community during a pandemic

The way we work and operate was transformed literally overnight in 2020

Over the past year we have operated as a virtual organisation, working from kitchens, lounges, spare rooms and bedrooms, and communicating through video meetings, phone calls and emails. For many, this new way of working came alongside taking on home-schooling and increased caring responsibilities.

From the start we made clear that wellbeing and safety were the priority.

We helped colleagues assess their home work places and provided them with the equipment they needed to work safely. However, working life is also about professional and personal connections. We have worked to sustain the supporting, caring working environment of which we are proud, and tried many new ways to stay in touch.

We now have lively online groups on subjects ranging from home-schooling and working from home to pets and general conversation. There are online book clubs, virtual general knowledge quizzes and 'The Kitchen', our open-all-hours virtual space for catching up with workmates. Colleagues have also supported each other’s specific needs through opportunities such as our carers’ support and disability confident groups.

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Reports 2020/21