Holyrood committee launches inquiry into tightening of public-sector spending


The Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee today launches an inquiry into how the public sector is preparing for a period of tightening expenditure.

Views are being sought on how relevant bodies can ensure the efficient delivery of public services in the current economic climate.

Launching the inquiry, Committee Convener Andrew Welsh MSP said: “It is vital that the Parliament is at the forefront of the ongoing debate on how our public services can most efficiently be delivered in a period of tightening public expenditure.

"Our inquiry will aim to highlight how decisions are being made on key public services used by people across the country.

"We are inviting interested parties to set out what they consider to be the key challenges facing the public sector and will seek opinions on matters such as how service users’ needs can best be taken into account and whether any spending areas should be protected from real-term cuts.

"We will also consider the lessons that other countries can provide for Scotland on how public services can be delivered more efficiently.

He continued: “Having received expert views on these and other related topics, we will invite the Scottish Government and key public-sector leaders to explain how they are responding to these challenge.

"The inquiry – and similar work being undertaken by other committees – will greatly inform our subsequent scrutiny of the Scottish Government’s detailed Draft Budget for 2011-12, which we expect to be published later this year.”

The dedicated web page includes information setting out the inquiry's remit and key questions. Interested parties are invited to submit written responses by 26 March 2010.

After written evidence has been received, the committee will hold a series of oral evidence-taking meetings. These are likely to begin on 13 April 2010.

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