Committee calls for evidence on reform of Scotland's public sector landscape


The Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee is seeking views on new legislation designed to simplify and streamline public bodies in Scotland.

The Public Services Reform (Scotland) Bill aims to simplify and improve the landscape of Scottish public bodies to enable the Scottish Government to deliver its core functions more effectively.

The proposed powers of the new bill include:

  • providing for the dissolution of specific public bodies
  • the transfer or delegation of specific functions between public bodies
  • the establishment of new national bodies for health and social work and social care scrutiny, and for arts and culture, bringing together and improving the functions of existing separate bodies
  • providing for general powers to enable changes to the public sector landscape or to remove or reduce burdens throughout the Scottish economy which are identified as holding back economy, efficiency, productivity or profitability
  • placing a duty on scrutiny bodies to co-operate with each other and to ensure an appropriate user focus in how they fulfil their functions.

The Finance Committee is seeking views from organisations, bodies and individuals with an interest or involvement in the proposals contained in the bill and their likely impact.

Committee Convener Andrew Welsh said: “The proposals contained within the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Bill have widespread implications for the existing public sector landscape in Scotland and will shape the future of how the government performs its functions.

"The committee wants to hear from any interested individuals and organisations about the various proposals in the bill, and the associated issues, including whether this is the right time to be pursuing a reform of public services in light of the current financial situation.”

The closing date for written submissions is Friday 14 August 2009.

Further information
Copies of the bill and accompanying documents can be found on the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Bill webpage.

Given the wide-ranging nature of the bill, three other committees are designated as secondary committees and will consider areas of the Bill directly relevant to their own remits. Full information on the secondary committees' work will be available on their webpages in due course.

  • Rural Affairs and Environment Committee
  • Health and Sport Committee
  • Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee

Further information about the inquiry is available at the Finance Committee webpage dedicated to scrutiny of the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Bill or visit the call for evidence page for specific information about submitting evidence.

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