The Scottish Commission for Public Audit today published its 1st Report, 2009 (Session 3) recommending that the Scottish Parliament approves Audit Scotland’s proposed budget for 2010-11.
The Commission recognises Audit Scotland’s key role in ensuring the efficient use of public resources. The Commission has also welcomed the progress Audit Scotland has made in reducing its reliance on end-year flexibility and improving the information it provides to explain its budget.
Convener of the Commission, Angela Constance MSP said: “Throughout our work we continue to seek explanations from the Auditor General and Audit Scotland management on a number of specific matters to help us understand the business cycle and the funding it requires.
"We recognise the vital role that public-audit work plays, not least in a period when public bodies are under financial pressure. We aim to ensure that Audit Scotland demonstrates the highest levels of transparency and accountability in its own budgeting.
"We commend Audit Scotland for its work, and for the improvements it has made in the budget information provided to us.
"In its report, the Commission has approved Audit Scotland’s budget plans for 2010-11. It has also made a number of recommendations which seek to provide a longer-term perspective to its budget.”
The Commission is a public body established by the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 to scrutinise the expenditure of Audit Scotland (whose budget is independent of Scottish Government control as it is ‘top-sliced’ from the Scottish Consolidated Fund before the Scottish Government decides on allocation of the rest of the Scottish budget).
Four Commission members are appointed by the Scottish Parliament’s Corporate Body and the fifth is the person who holds the office of Convener of the Parliament’s Audit Committee. The Commission currently comprises
- Robert Brown MSP
- Derek Brownlee MSP
- Angela Constance MSP
- George Foulkes MSP
- Hugh Henry MSP
The Commission’s main responsibilities are:
- to examine the proposed budget of Audit Scotland
- appoint an accountable officer for Audit Scotland
- appoint the auditors of Audit Scotland
- initiate value for money examinations into Audit Scotland
- consider the audit and value for money reports and ensure such reports are both laid before the parliament and published.
The report also summaries the Commission’s work in 2009.