Scrutiny improvement

Audit Scotland works with other scrutiny bodies to make sure that the scrutiny of public sector bodies is better targeted and more proportionate to identified risks.

The main focus of our development work is on local government, on behalf of the Accounts Commission. This sector has the highest number of external scrutiny bodies and it is where we think the greatest efficiencies can be made. Read more about our work on local government.

The scrutiny bodies involved in this work are:

Scrutiny plans

Each year, we produce a local scrutiny plan for every council in Scotland, and a national scrutiny plan summarising what activity will be carried out. Find out more and download the scrutiny plans.

The Sharing Intelligence for Health and Social Care Group

Audit Scotland works with the Care Inspectorate, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland, NHS Education for Scotland and NHS Scotland to share and consider data about health and social care services. The group aims to:

The group's latest report for 2017-18 was published in August 2018:

Local Government scrutiny strategic framework

The Accounts Commission took on responsibility for the scrutiny of local government in 2008. The Commission established a strategic group involving the main scrutiny bodies for local government - Audit Scotland, HMIE, SWIA, the Care Commission, The Scottish Housing Regulator, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and NHS QIS. The Scottish Government, COSLA and SOLACE are also represented on this group.

The group agreed the following priorities:

These arrangements mark a fundamental shift away from scrutiny based on standard inspections undertaken on a cycle. Scrutiny bodies are working to establish a shared assessment of the risks in each council and to develop a range of proportionate approaches in response to the risk assessment. We aim to place councils’ own self evaluation at the heart of this approach and we introduced changes in how we work. Read more below:

Joint Code of Practice

This sets out how the Accounts Commission works with these bodies to coordinate local government scrutiny, including how we will share information and identify areas for collaborative working. The Code is currently being reviewed and a revised version will be published here in due course.

Other joint reports

Transformational change round table

In January 2018, Audit Scotland and the Improvement Service hosted a round table on transformational change, with public service and third sector leaders, policy makers and partners attending to speak about their experiences.