Scrutiny improvement

Audit Scotland works with other scrutiny bodies to make sure the scrutiny of public sector bodies is better targeted and more proportionate in relation to identified risks. The main focus of our development work is on local government, on behalf of the Accounts Commission.

Scrutiny coordination

Scrutiny coordination in local government is led by the Strategic Scrutiny Group (SSG). The SSG comprises Scotland's main public sector scrutiny bodies and aims to deliver efficient and effective, well-coordinated scrutiny that supports improvement. It is convened and chaired by the Accounts Commission and is supported by the Operational Sub-group (OSG).

The members of the SSG are set out below along with a link to their respective scrutiny plans, where available.

Healthcare Improvement Scotland logo
Healthcare Improvement Scotland scrutiny activity 2021/22
HM Fire Service Inspectorate logo
HM Fire Service Inspectorate Chief Inspector's Plan
HM Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland logo
HM Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland scrutiny plan 2021/22
HM Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland logo
HM Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland recent and upcoming inspections
Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland logo
Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland annual report: 2020-2021

Scrutiny programme 2021/22

Click on the council name to see a summary of scrutiny activity from 2021/22:

Aberdeen City Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Best Value Assurance Report Audit Scotland November 2020 - March 2021
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Engagement on Gypsy Traveller minimum site standards Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Aberdeenshire Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Angus Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Best Value Assurance Report Audit Scotland December 2021 - February 2022
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Local area inspection Her Majesty's Fire Service Inspectorate in Scotland Autumn/Winter
Argyll and Bute Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Joint inspection of adult support and protection services Care Inspectorate, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland June - September 2021
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Local area inspection Her Majesty's Fire Service Inspectorate in Scotland Quarter 1
Clackmannanshire Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Children and young people in need of care and protection - supported self-evaluation Care Inspectorate, Education Scotland, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland June - December 2021
Joint inspection of adult support and protection services Care Inspectorate, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland September 2021 - January 2022
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Dumfries and Galloway Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Joint inspection of adult support and protection services Care Inspectorate, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland August - November 2021
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Engagement on Gypsy Traveller minimum site standards Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Dundee City Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Joint inspection of services for children and young people in need of care and protection services Care Inspectorate, Education Scotland, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland August - November 2021
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Engagement on service quality Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
East Ayrshire Council - Scrutiny programme
Joint inspection of adult support and protection services Care Inspectorate, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland March - June 2021
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
East Dunbartonshire Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Best Value Assurance Report Audit Scotland Spring 2021
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Engagement on service quality Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
East Lothian Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
East Renfrewshire Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
City of Edinburgh Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Eilean Siar - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Best Value Assurance Report Audit Scotland tbc
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Falkirk Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Best Value Assurance Report Audit Scotland May - June 2021
Joint inspection of adult support and protection services Care Inspectorate, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland September 2021 – January 2022
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Engagement on Gypsy Traveller minimum site standards Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Fife Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Joint inspection of adult support and protection services Care Inspectorate, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland May - August 2021
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Engagement on service quality Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Local area inspection Her Majesty's Fire Service Inspectorate in Scotland 2022/23
Glasgow City Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Highlands Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Engagement on Gypsy Traveller minimum site standards Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Inverclyde Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Joint inspection of adult support and protection services Care Inspectorate, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland November 2020 - January 2021
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Engagement on proposals to transfer a small number of tenanted, council-owned homes to a local RSL Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Local area inspection Her Majesty's Fire Service Inspectorate in Scotland 2023/24
Midlothian Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Engagement on service quality Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Moray Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Best Value Assurance Report: Follow-up Audit Scotland September - October 2021
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
North Ayrshire Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Joint inspection of services for children and young people in need of care and protection services Care Inspectorate, Education Scotland, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland July 2021 - January 2022
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
North Lanarkshire Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Orkney Islands Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Perth and Kinross Council - Scrutiny programme
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Renfrewshire Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Joint inspection of adult support and protection services Care Inspectorate, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland January – March 2020
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Scottish Borders Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Engagement on Gypsy Traveller minimum site standards Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Shetland Islands Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Best Value Assurance Report Audit Scotland Spring 2022
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Local area inspection Her Majesty's Fire Service Inspectorate in Scotland 2022/23
South Ayrshire Council - Scrutiny programme
Best Value Assurance Report Audit Scotland January - June 2021
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Joint inspection of adult support and protection services Care Inspectorate, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland August - November 2021
South Lanarkshire Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Engagement on Gypsy Traveller minimum site standards Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Local area inspection Her Majesty's Fire Service Inspectorate in Scotland 2023/24
Stirling Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Joint inspection of adult support and protection services Care Inspectorate, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland September 2021 – January 2022
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
Engagement on service quality Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
West Dunbartonshire Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Joint inspection of adult support and protection services Care Inspectorate, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland May - July 2021
Joint inspection of services for children and young people in need of care and protection services Care Inspectorate, Education Scotland, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland August - October 2021 then early 2022
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22
West Lothian Council - Scrutiny programme
Scrutiny activity Scrutiny body/bodies Fieldwork/engagement dates
Engagement on services for people who are homeless Scottish Housing Regulator 2021/22

Sharing intelligence

Shared Risk Assessment (SRA)

Scrutiny bodies share intelligence and agree scrutiny risks in each of Scotland's 32 councils using the shared risk assessment process (SRA). The process is designed to identify where we think scrutiny will make the most difference in terms of helping councils to improve and providing assurance to the public. It also provides a focus for more coordinated engagement between councils and scrutiny bodies.

Local government scrutiny bodies work together through local area networks (LANs) to share local intelligence and to carry out the SRA process. There are 32 LANs, one for each council area. The LAN is led by the council’s appointed auditor.

The Sharing Intelligence for Health and Social Care Group

Data about health and social care services is shared and considered by 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 on this group which aims to:

  • provide a forum to identify potential or actual risks to the quality of health and social care and, where necessary, initiate further action in response to these risks, and
  • promote coordination of activity between these partner organisations, respecting the statutory responsibilities of each.

Scrutiny collaboration

A wide range of our work is carried out collaboratively, for example joint inspections of services for children and young people and joint inspections of adult support and protection services. The SSG is committed to this approach and plans to explore broader opportunities for scrutiny collaboration around important issues facing councils and the public, where all scrutiny bodies have an interest.

Reports

Covid-19 Strategic Scrutiny Group

Covid-19 has changed our lives. Responding to it has changed how public services are delivered and how we scrutinise them.

This paper, from the Strategic Scrutiny Group, sets out: key areas of risk facing the sectors we scrutinise; how we have adapted our approaches to scrutiny in response to Covid-19; how we plan to capitalise on the advances made in our working practices and how we can build on the increased joint-working that has taken place.

Principles for community empowerment

Principles for community empowerment

The Principles for community empowerment document, from the Strategic Scrutiny Group aims to raise awareness of community empowerment and promote such a shared understanding across scrutiny bodies to support high-quality scrutiny of community empowerment.