The Finance Committee has given its support to the general principles of the Public Services Reform Bill in its Stage 1 report, published today.
The Bill is one part of a wider public services reform programme, covering a range of proposed changes including the creation of new scrutiny bodies for health and for social care and social work.
In its report the committee supported the need for public services reform. However, it expressed serious concerns about the proposed order-making powers in Part 2 of the Bill.
Committee convener Andrew Welsh MSP said: “This is a substantial and complex piece of legislation which has been scrutinised in detail by four parliamentary committees.
"In its report, the Finance Committee lends its support to the direction of travel of the bill and it is clear that there is a need for reform of our public services, particularly in this time of recession.
"However, during our evidence programme, serious concerns were expressed to us by a range of witnesses about the possible scope of the order-making powers in Part 2 of the bill.
"Accordingly, we have asked the Scottish Government to come back with revised proposals prior to Stage 2 consideration of the Bill.”
The Public Services Reform (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Parliament on 28 May 2009 and the Finance Committee was designated the lead committee.
Given the wide-ranging nature of the Bill, three other committees were designated as secondary committees to consider and report on elements of the Bill relevant to their own remits. These were:
- Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee
- Health and Sport Committee
- Rural Affairs and Environment Committee
The Stage 1 debate on the Bill is expected to take place in the week beginning 4 January.