Audit Scotland has published its annual report for 2018/19.
Caroline Gardner, Auditor General for Scotland and Accountable Officer for Audit Scotland, says:
In more than two decades of working in public audit in Scotland, I cannot recall a year when public services have experienced such pressure and uncertainty. Public bodies are having to cope with static or shrinking budgets at a time when demands increase and expectations continue to rise. For Scotland’s public sector, this is combined with the devolution of significant powers around taxation and social security, and the rapidly changing picture of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
Audit provides politicians, decision-makers and the public with the information and assurance they need about how well public services are run and how public money is spent. Given the circumstances Scotland’s public bodies currently operate in and in a time of ‘fake news’ when people are unclear what they can trust, I would argue that the independence, quality and timeliness of audit performed in the public interest is essential.