Wired-GOV Newswire (news from other organisations)
Audit Scotland - More work needed in managing historic change in public finances
The Scottish Government is well-organised to deliver game-changing new tax and spending powers but more work is needed to build a clearer picture of what the changes will cost and how staffing challenges will be addressed in the next stage of financial devolution.
An estimated £22 billion will be raised in Scotland by 2020 - five times more than the £4 billion raised prior to the 2012 and 2016 Scotland Acts. Establishing new social security arrangements is an exceptionally complex task and by 2021 the Scottish Government expects to process as many transactions in a week as it now does in a year.
Audit Scotland's latest report on financial devolution says the Scottish Government has updated its structures for overseeing the new powers and has good programme management processes in place.
Implementing and managing the new financial powers will have major staffing implications for the Scottish Government. It's identifying the staff and skills it needs, but recruiting enough people with the required abilities may prove difficult.
At the end of 2015/16, £18.5 million had been spent to implement new powers and costs will increase significantly over the next four years, as new social security responsibilities come online. The Scottish Government needs a clearer picture of potential future costs and to plan how it will fund these.
A more strategic approach to public financial management and reporting is needed, including a medium-term financial strategy based on clear policies and principles. There's also an urgent need for the Scottish Government to finalise and publish its approach to borrowing and reserves.
The Scottish Government is taking steps to provide a more comprehensive picture of public finances, but more work is required to make sure the parliament and the public have the information they need to understand and scrutinise financial decisions.
Caroline Gardner, Auditor General for Scotland, said:
"Implementing and managing the new financial powers will transform the work of the Scottish Government on an historic scale.
"It's made some good progress by getting the foundations in place for managing the new powers but the major funding and staffing implications of the next stage of financial devolution must be planned for and managed in an open and transparent way."
The report also reviews Revenue Scotland's progress in implementing devolved taxes; the setting-up of the Scottish Fiscal Commission; and progress in planning to deliver the new social security powers, for which 2017 is a critical year.
Latest News from
Wired-GOV Newswire (news from other organisations)
Service sector sentiment plummets at record pace29/05/2020 08:05:00
Business optimism plunged across the service sector in the three months to May, according to the latest quarterly CBI Service Sector Survey.
Unicef - Coronavirus: Number of children living in household28/05/2020 16:40:00
The economic fallout of the Coronavirus pandemic could push up to 86 million more children into household poverty by the end of 2020, an increase of 15 per cent, according to a new analysis released today by Save the Children and UNICEF.
Workers need financial support to quarantine for testing and tracing to work, says TUC28/05/2020 16:05:00
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady yesterday commented on the launch of the NHS Test and Trace programme.
NHS Confederation - Test, track and trace detail extremely welcome28/05/2020 15:40:00
Danny Mortimer, deputy chief executive of the NHS Confederation, responded to the launch of the NHS Test and Trace service
LGA - Coronavirus: future of early years providers uncertain without funding commitment28/05/2020 14:40:00
Additional funding is needed to support all early years providers for the period of the coronavirus crisis if enough childcare places are to be available for families who need them.
Citizens Advice - Many in shielded group facing “catch-22” as incomes plummet28/05/2020 13:40:00
New research from Citizens Advice shows that four in ten (41%) of those in the shielded group have lost at least 20% of their income since the coronavirus outbreak began. More than a quarter (27%) have lost 60% of their income or more.
Coronavirus: LGA responds to NHS track and trace service28/05/2020 12:40:00
Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, responded to the government launch of the new NHS Test and Trace Service
Unicef - Food crisis likely to worsen in the Middle East and North Africa as Coronavirus continues28/05/2020 11:40:00
Governments and partners across the Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA) are working around the clock to protect communities from the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
CBI response to NHS Track and Trace28/05/2020 11:05:00
CBI Chief UK Policy Director Matthew Fell responded to the announcement that the new NHS Test and Trace service launched today.
NHS Confederation - Home-produced PPE will be a significant step towards a more secure supply28/05/2020 10:40:00
Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, responded to the news that two billion items of PPE have been sourced with domestic manufactures