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SP Paper 562

  AU/S2/06/R1

1st Report, 2006 (Session 2)

Supporting New Initiatives and Leadership Development

CONTENTS

REMIT AND MEMBERSHIP

THE REPORT

ANNEXE A – EXTRACTS FROM THE MINUTES

Extract from the Minutes – 16th Meeting 2005 (Session 2)
Extract from the Minutes – 17th Meeting 2005 (Session 2)
Extract from the Minutes – 18th Meeting 2005 (Session 2)
Extract from the Minutes – 2nd Meeting 2006 (Session 2)
Extract from the Minutes – 5th Meeting 2006 (Session 2)
Extract from the Minutes – 6th Meeting 2006 (Session 2)

ANNEXE B – ORAL EVIDENCE AND ASSOCIATED WRITTEN EVIDENCE

WRITTEN EVIDENCE

Letter from John Elvidge, Permanent Secretary, Scottish Executive to the Convener 14

2nd Meeting 2006 (Session 2), 7 February 2006

ORAL EVIDENCE

John Elvidge, Permanent Secretary, Scottish Executive

David Reid, Head of Division, Development and Rural Affairs Finance Division, Scottish Executive

Ruth Parsons, Head of Public Service Reform Group, Scottish Executive

SUPPLEMENTARY WRITTEN EVIDENCE

Letter from the Clerk to John Elvidge, Permanent Secretary, Scottish Executive

Letter from John Elvidge, Permanent Secretary, Scottish Executive to the Convener

Remit and membership

Remit:

  1. The remit of the Audit Committee is to consider and report on-

    (a) any accounts laid before the Parliament;

    (b) any report laid before or made to the Parliament by the Auditor General for Scotland; and

    (c) any other document laid before the Parliament concerning financial control, accounting and auditing in relation to public expenditure.

  2. No member of the Scottish Executive or junior Scottish Minister may be a member of the Committee and no member who represents a political party which is represented in the Scottish Executive may be convener of the Committee.

(Standing Orders of the Scottish Parliament, Rule 6.7)

Membership:

Mr Brian Monteith (Convener)
Susan Deacon
Margaret Jamieson
Mrs Mary Mulligan
Eleanor Scott
Margaret Smith
Mr Andrew Welsh (Deputy Convener)

Committee Clerking Team:

Clerk to the Committee
Shelagh McKinlay

Senior Assistant Clerk
Joanna Hardy

Assistant Clerk
Clare O'Neill

1st Report, 2006 (Session 2)

Supporting New Initiatives and Leadership Development

The Committee reports to the Parliament as follows—

INTRODUCTION

  1. This report sets out the Committee’s findings in relation to the Auditor General for Scotland’s (AGS) reports from the “How Government Works” series entitled “Scottish Executive: supporting new initiatives” (AGS/2005/7)and “Leadership development” (AGS/2005/8).

EVIDENCE

  1. The Committee held one oral evidence session on 7 February 2006. The following witnesses gave evidence to the inquiry:

    John Elvidge, Permanent Secretary, David Reid, Head of Division, Development and Rural Affairs Finance Division and Ms Ruth Parsons, Head of Public Service Reform Group, Scottish Executive.

  2. Written evidence received by the Committee can be found at Annexe B.

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. The Committee’s main findings and recommendations are set out at Appendix A.

SCOTTISH EXECUTIVE: SUPPORTING NEW INITIATIVES

Purpose of New Initiatives and Objective Setting

Criteria for Using Initiative Funding

  1. In establishing a new initiative the Executive should be clear why the “initiatives approach” is the most effective way of achieving the desired outcomes. It must also take into account the burden placed on delivery partners in bidding for funding and planning and delivering initiatives.

  2. Overuse of initiatives can cause difficulties for partner organisations, particularly for local authorities who may be required to manage a large number of initiatives concurrently.1

  3. In evidence to the Committee the Accountable Officer gave examples of the circumstances in which the Executive might establish a specific funding initiative but no evidence was presented to suggest that formal criteria for initiative funding had been developed. (Cols 1444 and 1445)

  4. Conclusion: The Committee considers that the Executive lacks a clear set of criteria, common to all Executive departments, for the use of initiative funding. 

  5. Recommendation: The Committee recommends that a clear set of criteria for the use of initiative funding be agreed and that any proposal to establish an initiative be systematically assessed against these criteria.  Such a mechanism will help guard against inappropriate and excessive use of initiatives.

Objective Setting

  1. The AGS report records that measures of success were not clearly defined for a range of initiatives.2 The evidence in the AGS report3 does not support the Principal Accountable Officer’s contention that measures of success lacked clarity only in relation to smaller initiatives of lower value. (Col 1434)

  2. The Committee understands that some initiatives are by their nature experimental and will not always deliver the results expected. However, every initiative should have clear measures of success defined at the outset.

  3. Conclusion: The Committee concludes that currently objective setting for initiatives is not rigorous or consistent enough.

  4. RecommendationThe Committee welcomes the fact that the Executive are to consider how objective setting can be improved, recommends that action is taken to address this important issue as soon as possible and requests that it be kept informed of developments. 

Delivering Objectives

  1. As the AGS report points out, appropriate support from the Executive can help ensure that delivery partners are well-prepared to deliver project objectives.4 The AGS report also records that while delivery partners were generally more positive than negative about some aspects of the arrangements for funding initiatives, more were negative about consultation, the application process and timing of funding.5 Some of the delivery partners’ negative experiences may have been due to factors beyond the control of the Executive. However, Executive staff must have the right project management skills and a strong understanding of partner agencies working processes if projects are to be successfully delivered.

  2. Recommendation: The Executive should ensure that key staff have the knowledge and skills necessary to project manage the implementation of initiatives on a partnership basis.

  3. Recommendation: The Committee requests that in responding to this report the Executive set out how they will address this conclusion.

Evaluation and Monitoring

  1. The AGS report records that arrangements fell short of good practice for monitoring in 40% of projects and, for evaluation, in 55% of projects.6

  2. The Committee appreciates that different initiatives will require different approaches to evaluation and monitoring and that the evaluation effort should be proportionate. However, the evidence indicates that the variation in the approach to evaluation cannot be entirely attributed to the differing nature of projects.

  3. Recommendation: Clearer and more consistent standards for evaluation and monitoring should be set across the Executive.  The results of evaluation should also be publicly available.

  4. Recommendation: In evaluating whether or not initiatives have met their objectives, the Executive should ensure that the impact on delivery partners and service users are evaluated, and that the views of the wider local community are sought.

Arrangements for Mainstreaming or Closure of Initiatives

  1. The AGS report records delivery partners’ concerns about the timing and short-term nature of funding.7 The Committee took evidence from the Principal Accountable Officer on how successful initiatives are mainstreamed and how initiatives which have not delivered benefits can be brought to an end.  (Cols 1439, 1440 and 1441)

  2. Conclusion: The Committee considers that arrangements for the mainstreaming or closure of initiatives are not given sufficient priority when initiatives are planned and delivered. In particular, decisions on future funding must be taken in good time and after full consideration of the impact on delivery of the service.

  3. Recommendation: The Committee recommends that the Executive work in partnership with local authorities and other delivery partners to identify:
  • the key factors for success in mainstreaming initiatives; and,

  • best practice in bringing to an end those initiatives which have not delivered the required benefits.

Overall Approach to Management of Initiatives

  1. Conclusion: The Committee welcomes the AGS’ conclusion that, overall, the management of the projects examined is generally sound.8

  2. Despite having differing aims and objectives and being applied to different parts of the public sector, all initiatives will have some common features, e.g. engagement with delivery partners; setting objectives and monitoring performance; taking decisions on future funding. 

  3. The Accountable Officer said in evidence to the Committee that the Executive do not see initiatives as a “category” of their work. (Col 1436) However, it seems clear from the AGS report that delivery partners do view initiatives as a “class” of activity.

  4. Recommendation: The Committee considers that for improvement in the management of initiatives to be achieved across the Board, the Executive must start to view initiatives as a “class” of activity.  While each initiative will continue to have its own distinctive identity, viewing initiatives as a “class” of activity should enable a more corporate and consistent approach to the common processes involved. 

  5. Recommendation: The Committee endorses the good practice principles set out in the AGS report9 and recommends that the Executive take steps to ensure that future initiatives work complies with these principles.

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

Background

  1. The AGS report found that while there are good examples of investment in leadership development which reflect aspects of world class practice, the picture across Scotland is highly variable.10

  2. The rationale for differences in approach to leadership development by public bodies is not clear; there has been no mechanism for sharing intelligence and good practice on these issues; and there is no mechanism for strategic commissioning.11 The Accountable Officer reported on recent activity to build a new shared approach to leadership development, including the Scottish Government Forum event held in December 2005.  As yet no specific actions have emerged from these discussions.

Leadership Development: General Conclusions

  1. The Committee acknowledges that there are good examples of both leadership practice and development within the public sector in Scotland.

  2. Conclusion: The Committee is very concerned, however, that the Executive has not given greater priority to the development of leadership capacity across the public sector and has not taken on an active co-ordinating role in this regard.

Progress Since Devolution

Background

  1. The AGS report records the discussion on developing leadership capacity which took place prior to devolution; including publication of the 1998 study “Reinventing Management”.12  It proposed a model of leadership that was explicitly intended to address capacity building across organisational boundaries and to share learning between organisations and sectors. This model attracted strong support across the public sector in Scotland.  In evidence to the Committee the Principal Accountable Officer stated that initially the effort focused on the creation of the Scottish Leadership Foundation which was to be funded through the subscription of membership organisations.  However, a number of members chose not to subscribe.

  2. In 2001 the Cabinet Office report “Strengthening Leadership in the Public Services” found that too little attention was being paid to the growing importance of leadership across organisational boundaries.

  3. Since then there have been a number of developments at UK level such as the establishment of the new UK National School of Government with its emphasis on better exchange of skills and knowledge between sectors.

  4. Therefore, as far back as 1998, it was recognised that devolution both offered an opportunity and introduced an imperative, to develop high quality collaborative leadership in the Scottish public sector. Yet despite this “head start” made by Scotland in the run-up to devolution little progress has been made.

  5. The Committee notes, for example, that the first meeting arranged by the Principal Accountable Officer which brought together chief officers of Scotland’s public sector bodies did not take place until December 2005.

  6. Conclusion: The Committee is extremely concerned that the opportunity afforded by devolution to improve public sector leadership and, in particular, to exchange skills and knowledge between sectors and across the public sector, has not been acted on effectively.

  7. Recommendation: The Committee recommends that the Executive take the lead in co-ordinating and driving forward leadership development in Scotland more effectively than has been the case to date.

  8. Conclusion: The Committee believes that the Scottish Leadership Foundation has made a positive contribution to leadership development within Scotland - given the resources at its disposal. We consider, however, that the Foundation is not resourced or structured in such a way as to drive forward change on the scale required.

  9. Recommendation: The Committee recommends that the Executive, as a matter of urgency, take steps to ensure that the appropriate mechanisms are in place to build leadership capacity in Scotland.

  10. This should be done in partnership with, and build upon work carried out by, other major employers such as the NHS in Scotland and local authorities - but it is for the Executive to co-ordinate and give direction to this effort.

  11. The Executive should seek to:
  • Effectively promote shared learning and a shared approach to investment;
  • Ensure the spread and adoption of good practice;
  • Advise on strategic procurement, commissioning and research; and
  • Ensure that leadership development is clearly linked to organisational improvement and demonstrate the benefits delivered.
  1. In doing so the Executive and partner agencies should be mindful of existing resources such as the Scottish Leadership Foundation, the National School of Government and the newly established body Government Skills.

  2. Scotland’s size, coupled with its devolved government arrangements, mean that it is well placed to develop an effective, collaborative approach to leadership development.

  3. The achievement of Executive policy objectives in, for example, health, education and crime, is dependent on effective cross-sectoral working. Public sector leaders are key to ensuring that a “joined-up” approach is achieved and embedded in systems, practice and culture within the Scottish public sector.

  4. Conclusion: The Committee concludes that leadership development must be given a substantially greater priority by the Executive in future if its policy objectives are to be achieved.

Identifying Potential Leaders

  1. The Committee notes that the individual leadership development programmes described in the AGS report differ in terms of the groups of staff which they aim to support.13  Some initiatives such as the NHS Management Training Programme support individuals at an early point in their career, others focus on those already in senior management.

  2. Conclusion: The Committee considers that the development of effective leaders is critical to the success of any organisation.  

  3. Recommendation: The Committee recommends that mechanisms be put in place to ensure that leadership development programmes identify and support potential leaders in public sector organisations.  

OVERARCHING ISSUES

  1. In taking evidence on these two AGS reports, the Committee has noted a number of important overarching issues relating to the way in which Executive Departments have established new initiatives and sought to improve leadership capacity.

  2. The Committee considers that these overarching issues may have relevance for the way in which Executive Departments perform other functions.

  3. Conclusion: The Executive should: 
  • Improve the way in which objectives and measures of success are set;
  • Engage more effectively with delivery partners;
  • More effectively evaluate the impact and benefits of investment;
  • Co-ordinate activity across departments and the wider public sector more effectively; and
  • More effectively promote best practice.

Appendix A

KEY FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

SCOTTISH EXECUTIVE: SUPPORTING NEW INITIATIVES

Purpose of New Initiatives and Objective Setting

Criteria for Using Initiative Funding

Conclusion: The Committee considers that the Executive lacks a clear set of criteria, common to all Executive departments, for the use of initiative funding. (Para 8) 

Recommendation: The Committee recommends that a clear set of criteria for the use of initiative funding be agreed and that any proposal to establish an initiative be systematically assessed against these criteria.  Such a mechanism will help guard against inappropriate and excessive use of initiatives.(Para 9)

Objective Setting

Conclusion: The Committee concludes that currently objective setting for initiatives is not rigorous or consistent enough.  (Para 12)

Recommendation:  The Committee welcomes the fact that the Executive are to consider how objective setting can be improved, recommends that action is taken to address this important issue as soon as possible and requests that it be kept informed of developments.  (Para 13)

Delivering Objectives

Recommendation: The Executive should ensure that key staff have the knowledge and skills necessary to project manage the implementation of initiatives on a partnership basis. (Para 15)

Recommendation: The Committee requests that in responding to this report the Executive set out how they will address this conclusion.(Para 16)

Evaluation and Monitoring

Recommendation: Clearer and more consistent standards for evaluation and monitoring should be set across the Executive.  The results of evaluation should also be publicly available. (Para 19)

Recommendation: In evaluating whether or not initiatives have met their objectives, the Executive should ensure that the impact on delivery partners and service users are evaluated, and that the views of the wider local community are sought. (Para 20)

Arrangements for Mainstreaming or Closure of Initiatives

Conclusion: The Committee considers that arrangements for the mainstreaming or closure of initiatives are not given sufficient priority when initiatives are planned and delivered. In particular, decisions on future funding must be taken in good time and after full consideration of the impact on delivery of the service. (Para 22)  

Recommendation: The Committee recommends that the Executive work in partnership with local authorities and other delivery partners to identify:

  • the key factors for success in mainstreaming initiatives; and,
  • best practice in bringing to an end those initiatives which have not delivered the required benefits. (Para 23)

Overall Approach to Management of Initiatives

Conclusion: The Committee welcomes the AGS’ conclusion that, overall, the management of the projects examined is generally sound.  (Para 24)

Recommendation: The Committee considers that for improvement in the management of initiatives to be achieved across the Board, the Executive must start to view initiatives as a “class” of activity.  (Para 27)

Recommendation: The Committee endorses the good practice principles set out in the AGS report and recommends that the Executive take steps to ensure that future initiatives work complies with these principles. (Para 28)

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

Leadership Development: General Conclusions

Conclusion: The Committee is very concerned, however, that the Executive has not given greater priority to the development of leadership capacity across the public sector and has not taken on an active co-ordinating role in this regard. (Para 32)

Progress Since Devolution

Conclusion: The Committee is extremely concerned that the opportunity afforded by devolution to improve public sector leadership and, in particular, to exchange skills and knowledge between sectors and across the public sector, has not been acted on effectively. (Para 38)

Recommendation: The Committee recommends that the Executive take the lead in co-ordinating and driving forward leadership development in Scotland more effectively than has been the case to date. (Para 39)

Conclusion: The Committee believes that the Scottish Leadership Foundation has made a positive contribution to leadership development within Scotland - given the resources at its disposal. We consider, however, that the Foundation is not resourced or structured in such a way as to drive forward change on the scale required. (Para 40)

Recommendation: The Committee recommends that the Executive, as a matter of urgency, take steps to ensure that the appropriate mechanisms are in place to build leadership capacity in Scotland. (Para 41)
 
Conclusion: The Committee concludes that leadership development must be given a substantially greater priority by the Executive in future if its policy objectives are to be achieved. (Para 47)

Identifying Potential Leaders

Conclusion: The Committee considers that the development of effective  leaders is critical to the success of any organisation. (Para 49)

Recommendation: The Committee recommends that mechanisms be put in place to ensure that leadership development programmes identify and support potential leaders in public sector organisations. (Para 50) 

OVERARCHING ISSUES

Conclusion: The Executive should:

  • Improve the way in which objectives and measures of success are set;
  • Engage more effectively with delivery partners;
  • More effectively evaluate the impact and benefits of investment;
  • Co-ordinate activity across departments and the wider public sector more effectively; and
  • More effectively promote best practice.

ANNEXE A

AUDIT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES

16th Meeting, 2005 (Session 2)

Tuesday 15 November 2005

Members Present:

Susan Deacon Margaret Jamieson
Mr Brian Monteith (Convener) Mary Mulligan
Eleanor Scott Margaret Smith
Andrew Welsh  

AGS Report on How Government Works: The Committee received a briefing from the Auditor General for Scotland on his report entitled “Scottish Executive: supporting new initiatives” (AGS/2005/7).

AGS Report on How Government Works (in private): The Committee considered its approach to the report by the Auditor General for Scotland entitled “Scottish Executive: supporting new initiatives” (AGS/2005/7). The Committee agreed to record its interest in this report but further agreed to defer a final decision on whether to hold an inquiry until its next meeting on 29 November 2005.

AUDIT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES

17th Meeting, 2005 (Session 2)

Tuesday 29 November 2005

Members Present:

Susan Deacon Margaret Jamieson
Mr Brian Monteith (Convener) Eleanor Scott
Andrew Welsh  

Apologies were received from Mary Mulligan and Margaret Smith

AGS Report on How Government Works: The Committee received a briefing from the Auditor General for Scotland on his report entitled “Leadership development” (AGS/2005/8).

AGS Reports on How Government Works (in private): The Committee considered its approach to the reports by the Auditor General for Scotland entitled “Leadership development” (AGS/2005/8) and “Scottish Executive: supporting new initiatives” (AGS/2005/7). The Committee agreed to hold an inquiry on these reports and take evidence from the Principal Accountable Officer at a future meeting.

AUDIT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES

18th Meeting, 2005 (Session 2)

Tuesday 13 December 2005

Members Present:

Margaret Jamieson Mr Brian Monteith (Convener)
Mary Mulligan Eleanor Scott
Margaret Smith  

Apologies were received from Susan Deacon and Andrew Welsh

AGS Reports on How Government Works (in private): The Committee considered arrangements for its inquiry into the reports by the Auditor General for Scotland entitled “Scottish Executive:supporting new initiatives” (AGS/2005/7) and “Leadership Development” (AGS/2005/8). The Committee agreed to write to the Principle Accountable Officer to seek written evidence in advance of the oral evidence session and to set out the Committee’s approach to the two reports.

AUDIT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES

2nd Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)

Tuesday 7 February 2006

Members Present:

Susan Deacon Mr Brian Monteith (Convener)
Mary Mulligan Eleanor Scott
Margaret Smith Andrew Welsh

Apologies were received from Margaret Jamieson

How Government Works: The Committee took evidence on its inquiry into the AGS reports entitled “Scottish Executive:supporting new initiatives” (AGS/2005/7) and “Leadership Development” (AGS/2005/8) from-

John Elvidge, Permanent Secretary, David Reid, Head of Division, Development and Rural Affairs Finance Division and Ms Ruth Parsons, Head of Public Service Reform Group, Scottish Executive.

How Government Works (in private): The Committee considered the evidence taken at agenda item 4. The Committee agreed to write to John Elvidge seeking clarification on a number of issues raised during discussion.

AUDIT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES

5th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)

Tuesday 18 April 2006

Members Present:

Susan Deacon Margaret Jamieson
Mr Brian Monteith (Convener)   Mary Mulligan
Eleanor Scott Andrew Welsh

Apologies were received from Margaret Smith

How Government Works (in private): The Committee considered a draft report on its inquiry into the AGS reports entitled “Scottish Executive:supporting new initiatives” (AGS/2005/7) and “Leadership Development” (AGS/2005/8). The Committee agreed to consider a further draft report in private at a future meeting.

AUDIT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES

6th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)

Tuesday 2 May 2006

Members Present:

Susan Deacon Margaret Jamieson
Mr Brian Monteith (Convener)   Mary Mulligan
Eleanor Scott Margaret Smith
Andrew Welsh  

How Government Works (in private): The Committee considered a draft report on its inquiry into the AGS reports entitled “Scottish Executive:supporting new initiatives” (AGS/2005/7) and “Leadership Development” (AGS/2005/8). The report as amended was agreed to. 

ANNEXE B

WRITTEN EVIDENCE

LETTER FROM JOHN ELVIDGE TO THE CONVENER – 20 JANUARY 2006

Dear Mr Monteith

AUDIT COMMITTEE – AGS HOW GOVERNMENT WORKS REPORTS

Your letter of 20 December asked me to provide written evidence to the Audit Committee on the Scottish Executive’s views of the Auditor General for Scotland’s reports “Leadership Development” and “Scottish Executive – Supporting New initiatives”, ahead of my oral evidence to the Committee on 7 February.  I attach my written evidence, which I hope the Committee finds helpful.

My office will confirm with the Committee Clerk details of colleagues who will accompany me in giving evidence.

I look forward to appearing before the Committee next month.

Yours sincerely

John Elvidge

Introduction

The Audit Committee has asked for evidence on the Scottish Executive’s views on the recommendations contained in the Auditor General for Scotland’s reports “Leadership Development” (AGS/2005/08) and “Scottish Executive – Supporting New Initiatives” (AGS/2005/07).

Leadership Development

I very much welcome the Auditor General’s report on leadership development and the analysis that it contains.  We are currently considering how we can respond to the recommendations.

The Audit Committee has expressed a particular interest in two issues:

  • the role of the Scottish Executive in coordinating change and ensuring best practice is shared across the public sector;

  • the steps the Executive is taking to develop its approach to leadership development in future.

The Scottish Executive has a number of different roles in relation to leadership development across the public sector.  Firstly, we have responsibilities as an employer for our own leaders.  Secondly, we play a part in sponsoring and investing in leadership development initiatives as part of our policy work.  Thirdly, I see the Executive as having a responsibility to create a climate that enables and promotes leadership development, particularly in relation to collaborative leadership skills, across the whole public sector in Scotland.

In relation to the first of these roles, our responsibilities as an employer, we have developed a leadership framework that is consistent with the Civil Service wide Professional Skills for Government performance framework; and we are active in promoting a wide range of individual and collective leadership development activities for our senior managers. 

For example we have an active mentoring and coaching programme for senior and high potential leaders. We have created a development forum for our Non-Executive Directors.  We are also working with the Scottish Leadership Foundation to develop their capacity to assist the Executive as an organisation to release the full potential of its senior staff.  Together we are actively engaged with the National School for Government in developing a new leadership programme for our senior staff.  We are exploring what is offered by world class proponents of leadership with a view to establishing a programme which will put our staff at the forefront of practice in leadership, not just in Scotland, but in the whole of the UK and beyond. 

I have set our sights very high and I hope that as a result we will encourage and assist others to do the same.

The second of our roles involves us sponsoring and investing in leadership development initiatives in different sectors.  In this context, I agree with Audit Scotland’s recommendation that more could be done to ensure consistency and share experience in areas where significant investment is being made in leadership capacity building.  I have set up coordination arrangements within the Scottish Executive involving those leading on our major leadership development initiatives within particular sectors.  This will provide a forum for sharing good practice, coordinating investment decisions, and learning from evaluation.

In relation to the third of the Executive’s roles, I am committed to doing more to promote and support collaborative leadership across the public sector.  All of us in the public sector face a significant programme of reform and modernisation over the coming months and years.  Successful delivery of this will depend on high-quality leaders, who are responsive to citizens’ needs, able to work collaboratively in a multi-agency context, and who are able to create public value.

During 2005 we convened a group involving representatives from local government, the police and the health sector to look at issues of collaborative leadership.  The group looked at ways of developing board-level skills; ways of developing the collaborative leadership skills of the public sector’s top leadership cadre and of our future leaders; and at the scope for better joining-up in the recruitment of our future leaders. 

We also convened a group (the World Class Leadership Development Group) from all parts of the public sector to involve those professionals responsible for delivering leadership development activities in sharing best practice and identifying criteria for evaluating the quality of leadership development programmes. This group also involved some participants from blue chip Scottish organisations to help us ensure we are applying the highest standards.

To build on these discussions, I invited leaders at Chief Executive level from across the public sector in Scotland to attend the first ‘Scottish Government Forum’ on 6 December 2005.  The event aimed to provide an opportunity for leaders to discuss the common challenges and priorities facing them, and particularly, the type of leadership skills and capabilities that will be needed in the future to lead our organisations through a process of modernisation. 

The event consisted of a mix of speakers, panel discussions and breakout sessions, covering topics as diverse as Efficient Government, future challenges for Scotland, effective delivery, collaborative working, and working with the private sector.  Delegates discussed the need for leaders to understand the needs of their partners; to champion collaborative working within their own organisations; to give something to the common purpose above their day job; and to work together more closely on developing the talent within our organisations.  I have received very positive feedback on the event and we are currently discussing with delegates how we can follow-up on the forum.

We will continue to promote a climate of high quality leadership across the public sector in a number of ways, including:

  • creating a shared vision with our public sector and community planning partners of the meaning of  leadership in the service of the people of Scotland;

  • continuing to invest in programmes specific to particular sectors;

  • acting as role models in our own approach to leadership development;

  • exploring the possibility of a brokering service able to make leadership development opportunities available across public sector organisations.  We are currently discussing with the Scottish Leadership Foundation how such a service could be put in place;

  • rolling out Best Value, of which effective leadership is one of the nine characteristics, throughout the wider public sector;

  • continuing to support programmes, such as our Change through People programme, which bring together future leaders from across different sectors.

Supporting New Initiatives

I also welcome the Auditor General’s analysis of the Executive’s procedures on supporting new initiatives. 

The Audit Committee has expressed a particular interest in two issues on which it will focus in taking evidence:

  • what the Scottish Executive is doing to ensure proper objectives are set and monitoring and evaluation procedures are put in place in order that the success of funded projects can be evaluated;

  • what steps the Executive is taking to develop its approach to funding initiatives in future.
  1. The Auditor General’s report considered a sample of 20 new funding initiatives announced by the Scottish Executive during 2004, covering a wide range of policy priorities and widely varying financial values (from over £300 million to less than £1 million).  It is reassuring that the Auditor General’s analysis confirms that, in general, the arrangements in place within the Scottish Executive for implementing new projects offered assurance that the funds would contribute towards delivering the intended policy objectives.

  2. The report notes that all 20 of the new policy initiatives examined complied with most aspects of the report’s suggested good practice principles, and none of the failures to comply gave rise to significant unmanaged risk.  Objectives had been set for all of the projects, linked to Executive policy.  In all cases the Executive had undertaken consultation with stakeholders prior to the announcement of the initiative.  Where funding was allocated through an application process, in all cases the Executive had developed clear processes for assessing bids.  For the majority of projects, on-going monitoring arrangements, to ensure that funds were used for the intended purpose and to assess the impact of each initiative, were in place when formal funding agreements were issued to delivery partners.  Full or partial evaluation frameworks were in place for the projects, other than those that were at an early stage of implementation, including, where appropriate, outcome-based agreements.  The report concludes that, in most cases, these arrangements will provide a sound basis for judging the success of funded initiatives, both in terms of efficiency and effectiveness.

  3. However, the analysis notes that, in a few cases, there was scope for improvement in the setting of objectives; ensuring that formal agreements with delivery partners covered all aspects of delivery; and the stage at which monitoring and evaluation arrangements were defined.  The report identified scope to improve corporate guidance on these issues and the potential to share good practice between teams involved in developing new policy initiatives.  The funding initiatives were welcomed by delivery partners, but concerns were raised, in particular, about the timescales for consultation and the preparation of funding applications, and the implications of short-term funding. 

  4. A number of the general conclusions from the report are consistent with the findings of our own internal analysis and the results of a comprehensive survey of our stakeholders’ views of the Executive.

  5. It is central to ensuring effective policy management that those staff involved in developing new initiatives understand the requirements of their role and have access to relevant guidance and support.  Engagement with staff following devolution suggested a lack of confidence amongst a proportion of staff about aspects of financial and project management.  This was identified, therefore, as a key priority for the Scottish Executive’s corporate change programme, Changing to Deliver.  This included the provision of revised guidance for staff on aspects of financial and project management.  A programme of mandatory training on financial management was established for all staff in Band C – the level at which staff are most likely to be leading on new policy initiatives.  The Centre for Expertise for Programme, Policy and Project Delivery was established within the Scottish Procurement Directorate to monitor project delivery, identify learning and development opportunities and to help share best practice and develop corporate approaches to project delivery.  Specialist skills were also enhanced within the Finance, Audit and Procurement functions within the Executive, with relevant staff holding or training towards appropriate professional qualifications.  Support and interaction was also enhanced between staff responsible for policy development and specialist analytical services staff, including economists, researchers and statisticians, providing expertise on analysing evidence, best practice in evaluation and in setting and monitoring clear policy objectives. 

  6. These developments were in progress when the Auditor General undertook his analysis.  Improving financial management and objective settings guidance and skills remain a continuing key priority for the Executive.  For example, the Professional Skills for Government programme identifies financial management, project and programme management and analysis and use of evidence, as core performance requirements for staff within Band C and the SCS.  These core skills are now part of our internal performance management arrangements and staff seeking promotion into Band C or the SCS will need to demonstrate evidence of experience and competencies in each of these core skills.

  7. With reference to the views of external stakeholders, including delivery partners, in December 2004, we published the results of our first ever comprehensive survey of the views of our external stakeholders about the Scottish Executive.  Over 820 stakeholders responded to the survey.  The majority of responses considered that their engagement with the Executive had improved since devolution, in particularly expressing positive views about the Executive being focused on delivery, being committed to its objectives and understanding our stakeholder organisations.  However, stakeholders were less positive about a number of aspects, including involving stakeholders early enough in the policy development process, being clear about our priorities and being joined-up in our approaches.  The results of the survey were published on the Executive web site and are helping to inform our continuing drive to improve policy development and implementation.  A further follow-up survey was undertaken during 2005, with over 1,100 responses being received.  The results of that survey are due to be published on the Executive web-site later this month and will provide evidence of our progress on these issues.

Summary

  1. Both the Auditor General’s reports raise important issues relevant to our internal processes and capabilities within the Scottish Executive and to our engagement with key stakeholders, including our delivery partners.  This fits within the much wider context of our engagement across the public sector in Scotland on Efficient Government and the Public Sector Reform agenda.  A significant range of work is already in progress on these issues within the Executive and elsewhere.  The two reports provide further helpful stimulus to that activity.  We are considering the findings and recommendations of both reports in detail.

John Elvidge
Permanent Secretary
Scottish Executive
20 January 2006

ORAL EVIDENCE

2nd Meeting 2006 (Session 2), 7 February 2006

SUPPLEMENTARY WRITTEN EVIDENCE

LETTER FROM THE CLERK TO JOHN ELVIDGE 1 MARCH 2006

Dear Mr Elvidge

AUDIT COMMITTEE – AGS HOW GOVERNMENT WORKS REPORTS

I am writing on behalf of the Committee to request further evidence in relation to the Committee’s consideration of the AGS reports entitled “Scottish Executive: supporting new initiatives” and “Leadership Development”.

Supporting New Initiatives

There was extensive discussion about the way in which the Executive seeks to set objectives and outcomes for new initiatives and how these initiatives are monitored.  For most of the initiatives covered in the AGS report, it is too early to evaluate their achievement against objectives since the initiatives began in 2004. However, the Committee is interested to know to what extent the Executive has been able to evaluate the success of longer standing programmes. In partnership with Audit Scotland the Committee has identified a range of initiatives established from 2000- 2003 where the timescale suggests that an evaluation report or other performance information would be publicly available. We would therefore be grateful for information on the performance against objectives of the following initiatives:

Active Communities Initiative (June 2000) – http://www.scotland.gov.uk/news/2000/06/se1911.asp
Farm Business Development Scheme (July 2001) – http://www.scotland.gov.uk/news/2001/07/se1599.asp
Funding for post offices in deprived urban areas (December 2002) – http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2002/12/2864
Initiative to speed up surgery (September 2002) – http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2002/09/2208
Proof of Concept Fund (June 2000) – http://www.scotland.gov.uk/news/2000/06/se1864.asp
Scottish Safer Cities Initiative (November 2003) – http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2003/11/4445
Surestart Scotland Programme (January 2003) - http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2003/01/2954

If you have further queries about this request please do not hesitate to contact me.

Leadership Development
Budgets for Leadership Development:

The Committee would be grateful for information on the level of expenditure by the Executive to support leadership and management development across the public sector in Scotland. The Committee would also be grateful for any other indication of how the Executive is currently investing in leadership development.

The Committee would also be grateful if you could confirm the outcome of current budget negotiations in due course.

Future Role of the Scottish Leadership Foundation

You gave evidence on the current and future role of the Scottish Leadership Foundation and stated that you were involved in ongoing discussions about how the Foundation’s role should be developed.  The Committee would be grateful if you could confirm the outcome of these discussions in due course.

Links with UK Work on Leadership Development

In evidence to the Committee you reported your membership of the Board of the National School for Government.  The Committee would be grateful if you could provide further information on how the Executive and the wider Scottish public sector are participating in the work of the National School for Government and the benefits that will flow from this. The Committee would be also grateful for information on what other collaborative work is taking place at UK level to foster leadership development in the public sector in Scotland.

The Committee would be grateful for a response by Wednesday 15 March.   If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me.  

Yours sincerely,

Shelagh McKinlay
Clerk to the Committee

LETTER FROM JOHN ELVIDGE TO THE CONVENER 20 JANUARY 2006

Dear Mr Monteith

WRITTEN EVIDENCE TO AUDIT COMMITTEE – “HOW GOVERNMENT WORKS” REPORTS

Following my oral evidence on 7 February, the Committee has requested additional written evidence on Leadership Development and the performance against objectives of a selection of Scottish Executive funding initiatives.

Leadership Development

The Committee has asked for:

  • information on the level of expenditure by the Executive to support leadership and management development across the public sector in Scotland;
  • any other indication of how the Executive is currently investing in leadership development;
  • information on how the Executive and the wider Scottish public sector are participating in the work of the National School for Government and the benefits that will flow this;
  • information on other collaborative work taking place at UK level to foster leadership development in the public sector in Scotland.

On the first of these issues, the Scottish Executive supports leadership and management development in a number of ways, including through:

  • direct investment in the leadership and management capacity of our own staff;
  • direct support for specific leadership programmes within and across different sectors;
  • core funding for public bodies and other organisations, some of which will be used for leadership and management development;
  • grant funding for specific projects which include elements of leadership and management development.

A summary of examples of this type of investment is attached at Annex A.  It is not possible to quantify the total level of funds which is ultimately supporting leadership and management development from the full range of core and project grant allocated by the Scottish Executive.  As I discussed in my oral evidence, it is important that public sector organisations and agencies have the scope to tailor leadership development and associated resource allocations to their specific circumstances.

We have established a Scottish Executive Coordinating Committee which brings together officials leading on the main areas of direct funding for leadership development.  It will provide a forum for sharing good practice, coordinating and challenging future investment decisions; and learning from evaluation. 

As set out in my earlier evidence, we have also brought together representatives from different parts of the public sector and those involved in delivering leadership development activities to share best practice and identify criteria for evaluating leadership development programmes.

As the Committee is aware, I am a member of the Board of the National School of Government.  The School is working with the Scottish Executive in putting together a consortium of training providers - including the Scottish Leadership Foundation and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University - to support our leadership development programmes for our senior managers. 

This work is providing access to some of the most highly rated leadership development thinkers in the world, as well as gaining experience from the rest of the UK Civil Service. Our aim is a coherent and stretching programme of leadership development activities that will build the capability of the Executive as a whole – not just develop specific individuals – and provide lessons which we can share with the wider public sector in Scotland.  Indeed, we intend to explore the scope for opening the opportunity for participation to a range of other public bodies within Scotland from an early stage.

Information about the full range of programmes which the National School of Government operates is available on its web site http://www.nationalschool.gov.uk.

There are a number of other examples of collaborative work taking place at UK level to foster leadership development in the public sector in Scotland.  The National School of Government operates collaborative programmes for senior and high potential managers in central government, on which Scottish Executive are enroled.  The Cabinet Office also runs a UK-wide ‘fast stream’ scheme for future leaders in central Government and diversity programmes to attract more young people from ethnic minorities into the Civil Service, including the Scottish Executive.

A key feature of the UK national agenda to drive up skills levels in central government is the newly established Sector Skills Council for Central Government (to be known as Government Skills). Launched in February, Government Skills will take responsibility for leading the implementation of Professional Skills for Government, which includes a substantial element of leadership development, across central government.  For us, a central plank of this activity is to develop leaders within the Scottish Executive who can engage effectively with others from across the public sector and build capacity to better deliver for the people of Scotland.  

In the same way as for the other devolved national administrations, Government Skills activity in Scotland will be coordinated by a Scottish national manager, who will be recruited shortly.   The national manager will be responsible for developing and implementing a skills strategy encompassing the Scottish Executive, its agencies and other central departments based in Scotland. We anticipate the launch of Government Skills in Scotland and the development of a work programme once the national manager is in post.  The potential for engagement and shared learning opportunities with the wider public sector in Scotland will be one of the key issues we will discuss with the national manager, once appointed.

The Committee has also asked for an update, in due course, on developments in our investment levels into Leadership Development and also in our discussions about the future role of the Scottish Leadership Foundation.  I will ensure that an update is provided when relevant information is available.

Performance of Scottish Executive Initiatives

Following from my evidence about the Audit Scotland report on new Scottish Executive funding initiatives, the Committee has asked for information on the performance against objectives of a number of other Scottish Executive funding initiatives which it identified in consultation with Audit Scotland.  Brief overview information about progress and performance against objectives for each of these initiatives is provided in the attached Annex B

As with the new funding allocations, these initiatives reflect the breadth of policies and programmes covered by Scottish Executive Departments.  Specific responsibility for the detailed operation of the schemes rests with the individual lead Department or Agency identified in the Annex.  For each of the projects, application guidance and procedures are in place alongside arrangements for evaluating the performance of individual grant recipients.  Copies of relevant documents can be provided if these would be helpful to the Committee.

For one of the projects – the Active Communities Initiative – the evaluation report identified specific concerns about the criteria for assessing applications and performance monitoring systems.  These concerns have been taken into account in considering future grant funding arrangements for the voluntary sector. 

Scottish Executive internal finance and audit colleagues have an important role in promoting good practice in designing and operating funding initiatives.  As noted in my earlier evidence, we have placed particular emphasis in enhancing professional skills and expertise in these areas and raising general awareness of audit and finance requirements across the Scottish Executive.

A number of the identified funding initiatives are pilot programmes and, therefore, specific arrangements are also in place for the overall evaluation of their impact and potential wider application.  For some final or interim evaluation reports are in place, but for others these are still to be finalised and published.  I would be happy to provide the Committee with further updates, if required, once final evaluation reports are available.

I hope this further information is helpful to the Committee.

Yours sincerely
JOHN ELVIDGE

ANNEX A

FOLLOW-UP INFORMATION REQUESTED BY THE AUDIT COMMITTEE

EXAMPLES OF SCOTTISH EXECUTIVE FUNDING FOR LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT

 Examples of Scottish Executive direct investment in leadership and management development

Programme

Background

Level of investment

NHS Scotland Leadership Development Framework

  • Aims to develop leadership capacity and capability in the NHS.
  • Identifies national priorities for action and mechanism for local NHS Boards to align development agenda to service delivery. A series of interventions are taking place / being designed.

2005-06:  £1.5m
2006-07: step up in funding expected

Leading to Deliver

  • National programme aiming to develop leadership capacity and capabilities amongst first and middle line managers in social services across statutory and independent sectors.
  • Aimed at those working across integrated services so includes health, housing and education colleagues. 400 managers have been through programme to date.

Total funding from 2003-04 to 2005-06 is  £2.6m (c. £825k per annum)

Columba 1400 Head Teacher Leadership Academies and Ambassadors’ Leadership Academies.

  • Head Teacher Leadership Academies  develop enterprise attitudes and leadership abilities of up to 15 participating head and deputy head teachers during week long residential programmes. 

2005-06 - £320k
2006-07 - £480k

Additional funding provided by the Hunter Foundation. 

Scottish Qualification for Headship

  • Core leadership development programme for potential head teachers.  Funding made available to local authorities to purchase places on the programme from three consortia that provide it.

£4m funding to local authorities per annum, for leadership development, including Scottish Qualification for Headship
.

The Local Government Improvement Service

  • Established in 2005-06 to facilitate and support service improvement across the range of local authority activities, including leadership development. 
  • Current focus is on ‘Top Executive Development’.   Programme to be based on a ‘development centre’ approach.  Developing a Leadership Excellence Profile, using action learning sets, and building executive coaching into the programme.

Of total resources provided by the SE to the LGIS, £50k in 05-06 and £170k in 06-07 is budgeted for leadership development work for programmes targeted at elected members, frontline managers and senior officers.

Scottish Executive internal leadership and management development

  • A range of programmes and activities funded, focusing on current and future leaders within the Executive.

Funding of £500k per annum.

Dunkeld Projects

  • Projects focusing on leadership as a key to improving integrated child services and building leadership capacity

2005-06 - £250k
2006-07 - £1.5m

SELMAS

  • Funding network of Scottish Educational Leadership and Management and Administration Society

2005-06 - £6k
2006-07 - £6k

Virtual Staff College

  • A programme of continuing professional development for senior managers in the education sector

2005-06 - £124k
2006-07 - £94k

Scottish Leadership Foundation

In addition to these programmes, the Executive provides funding to the Scottish Leadership Foundation to support a number of different programmes and activities.   In 2005-06, the Scottish Executive core Departments paid £54,000 to SLF in membership fees, and the Scottish Executive Health Department paid £159,000 in membership fees in respect of NHSScotland. 

This is supplemented by grant funding for specific initiatives and programmes such as the Change Through People programme (£26,000); Allied Health Professionals Development (£100,000); the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (£56,000).   Much of this funding is used by the Scottish Leadership Foundation to cover the direct costs of the specific initiatives and programmes involved.

Other investment

In addition to the ongoing programmes set out above, the Executive has funded or supported a series of one- off leadership interventions.  Examples include:

  • the Scottish Government Forum in December 2005;
  • a seminar on adaptive leadership for South Ayrshire Council (£15k in 2005-06);
  • a Headteacher secondment programme in East Ayrshire (£60k in 2005-06);
  • and ‘International Thought Leaders’, involving Terry Dozier, a leading international educationalist working with a variety of stakeholders in a two-week visit (£10k in 2005-06).

ANNEX B

SCOTTISH EXECUTIVE FUNDING INITIATIVES

The Committee requested information on the performance against objectives of a number of Scottish Executive funding initiatives:

Active Communities Initiative [SE Development Department]

The Active Communities Initiative (ACI) was launched in January 2000 following the recommendations from the Scottish Active Communities Working Group.  The report identified objectives designed to promote volunteering and community actions:

  • to bring about more positive attitudes at all levels towards volunteering and community action
  • to locate volunteering and community action at the heart of policy and practice
  • to broaden the range of people involved in volunteering and community action and
  • to increase the number of people

In 2002-03, the final year of the initiative, a total of £1.265 million was allocated to a variety of projects.  An evaluation was published in March 2004.  The report concluded that each of the projects funded contributed towards the broad objectives of the initiative.  However, the report raised concerns about a lack of clear formal criteria for allocating funding to specific projects and a lack of transparent procedures for evaluating applications and for monitoring performance.  The lessons from the report were taking into account as part of the Strategic Review of the Funding of the Voluntary Sector in Scotland, which was published last year.

A copy of the final evaluation report on the ACI (173 pages) is available if the Committee would find this helpful.

Farm Business Development Scheme [SE Environment and Rural Affairs Department]

The FBDS was launched in July 2001 to provide financial support to farming families to help create new income-generating opportunities through diversified activities either on or off farm.   The scheme operates in all areas of lowland Scotland, outwith the area covered by the Highlands and Islands Special Transitional Programme.  Assistance is provided in the form of financial support for capital expenditure.

The scheme is delivered with the support of partner and industry organisations through 5 regional Project Assessment Committees (PACs). With effect from June 2005, the Scheme was expanded to include a new measure to support investment in agricultural holdings and the grant ceiling was increased from £25K to £30K.

Between 2001 and 2005, just under £11 million in FBDS grant assistance was awarded to over 630 successful FBDS diversification applicants, generating £56.8 million of inward investment in new and expanded diversified businesses in rural areas.  The total budget allocation for the Fund for 2005/06 and the next two financial years is £26.9 million.

A mid-term review of the scheme was carried out in 2003.  The review confirmed that, although the scheme was in its early stages, significant resources had been allocated and the objectives were being achieved.  It assessed the scheme’s delivery arrangements as being effective, but requiring some improvements.  The results of the review have been taken into account in the subsequent operation of the scheme.

A copy of the mid-term review report (66 pages) is available if required by the Committee.

Fund to Develop Post Offices in Deprived Urban Areas [Communities Scotland]

A £2m Fund to develop post offices in deprived urban areas was launched in 2002.  Responsibility for administering this Fund transferred to Communities Scotland in August 2003.  The timescale for the pilot Fund was also extended to March 2006. 
Subpostmasters were eligible to apply to the Fund for grants of up to £50,000 to assist their business viability, including investment in improving their layout; expanding existing retail or developing new retail opportunities and improving security. Eligible Post Office branches had to be at risk of closure (and closure would have a negative impact on the area served) and be located within one of Scotland’s 20% most deprived urban areas.  Priority was given to branches in the most deprived areas.  Subpostmasters were also encouraged to seek business advice via their Local Enterprise Company.  Monitoring arrangements are in place for individual grant awards.
Communities Scotland is in the process of commissioning research to evaluate the impact of the Fund. A report is expected during 2006.

Safer City Centres Initiative [SE Justice Department]

The report, Counting the Costs – Crime Against Businesses in Scotland (1999), concluded that Scottish businesses faced costs of at least £670 million each year as a result of crime.  The Scottish Safe City Centres Initiative was established in 2003 as a 3 year pilot to help reduce the incidence and cost of crime in the centres of Scotland’s seven cities. It provides investment in initiatives such as CCTV, Radiolinks, promotion of crime reduction and community safety schemes.  In 2005, the initiative was extended to be piloted in 11 town centres across Scotland.
The initiatives are managed by the Scottish Business Crime Centre (SBCC), which is responsible for developing business crime reduction and prevention strategies in Scotland. The aim is to address business and retail crime through a partnership approach involving the Executive, the police and leading business and commerce organisations in Scotland. Teams have been established in each of the cities and towns allowing them to build upon their existing programmes and benefit from sharing best practice, problem-solving and crime information.
A final evaluation report on the initiative is due to be submitted to the Scottish Executive in November 2006.  This report will provide data on the progress of the pilot initiative towards its objectives.  This will include comparisons of recorded crime, including shop theft, vandalism and disorder, in the pilot areas before and after the initiatives and comparisons with towns not involved in the project.

Initiative to Speed up Surgery [SE Health Department]

In September 2002 the Minister for Health and Community Care announced this £4m initiative to speed up treatment for patients waiting for hip and knee replacements, in order that most NHS Board areas would have no one waiting more than 9 months for such operations by March 2003.  It should be noted that this was in anticipation of achieving the 9 month guarantee by December 2003. 

Achievement against this objective is summarised (hips and knees) below:

  30-Sep-02 31-Dec-02 31-Mar-03
Argyll & Clyde 24 30 0
Ayrshire & Arran 0 0 0
Borders 1 0 0
Dumfries & Galloway 26 0 0
Fife 4 7 0
Forth Valley 43 47 0
Grampian 7 6 0
Greater Glasgow 266 154 84
Highland 19 0 4
Lanarkshire 15 14 0
Lothian 136 5 0
Tayside 10 0 2
NHS Scotland  551    263    90  

Source: SMR3

Over the 6 months, the number of patients with a guarantee waiting over 9 months for a hip replacement reduced from 276 to 49 patients.  Similarly, the number of patients with a guarantee waiting over 9 months for a knee replacement reduced from 275 to 41 patients. 

Analysis of reduction by Health Board area indicates that, as planned, most of the 12 mainland Boards reduced their over 9 month waiters to zero by March 2003.  The main exception being Greater Glasgow who reduced the number of long waiters from 266 to 84, a reduction of 182 cases (their funding share covered the purchase of 180 cases). 

Since then the wait for hip and knee surgery in Scotland has continued to reduce dramatically.  As of December 2005 NHSScotland met the national guarantee of no patient waiting longer than 6 months for hip or knee surgery.    

Proof of Concept Fund [Scottish Enterprise]

The Proof of Concept (PoC) Fund was launched in October 1999 following the recommendation of Lord Macdonald's Knowledge Economy Task Force. The funding is allocated to higher education institutions and research institutes through Scottish Enterprise cluster teams. The funding is aimed at tackling the development gap between scientific discovery and proof of concept or prototype stage, with the aim of turning world-beating research into commercial success.  The main criteria for the Fund is whether a project represents a good business case.

The specific aims of the Fund are:

  • to improve the level and quality of commercialisation through the provision of Proof of Concept funding for early stage development activity within Scotland's Universities and Research Institutes.
  • to contribute to Scottish Enterprise's cluster development approach by facilitating the exploitation of enabling technologies from within the academic research base.
  • to contribute to the longer-term development of a strong knowledge-based economy in Scotland.

It is recognised that it will take several years before Scottish Enterprise is able to fully evaluate the impact of the programme in assisting the commercialising of academic based technology; however, on the basis of its popularity and the early indications of significant progress made in only the first few years, the Proof of Concept Programme was extended to £33 million over a six year period.

The programme also received £10 million from the European Regional Development Fund in 2004 to support the commercialisation activities and an additional £6 million approval in June 2005 from Scottish Enterprise bringing the value of the programme to £49 million.

There have been six funding rounds to date with the following categories available for funding - life sciences, microelectronics, food and drink, optoelectronics, digital media & creative industries, communications technologies, forest industries, tourism and energy.  Information about the 172 projects currently supported by the Fund is available on the Scottish Enterprise web site: www.scottish-enterprise.com

An interim review and evaluation of the PoC Fund was completed in March 2003.  The review concluded that the Fund was widely and highly valued; it filled a gap in market provision and was generally felt to be ‘structured and managed very well’.  Over half of the projects interviewed planned to commercialise and new researchers had been drawn into commercial activity. A further review of the PoC Fund is underway.

A copy of the interim review report (62 pages) is available if the Committee would find this helpful.

Sure Start Scotland Programme [SE Education Department]

Sure Start Scotland has been in operation since 1999.  It provides targeted support for vulnerable families with very young children (0-3 years).  Funding in the current financial year stands at £53m, and is set to rise to £57m in 2006/07. 

Funding has always been routed to local authorities for them to work in partnership with health services, voluntary and other relevant organisations to identify local need and local solutions to meet that need.  These agencies are expected to work together to plan and provide more cohesive and integrated services for parent and child and to ensure that services are targeting communities who are, for whatever reason, most vulnerable, in a non-stigmatising way.   The objectives of Sure Start Scotland are to improve children's emotional and social development; to improve children's health; to improve children's ability to learn; and to strengthen families and communities.

The first mapping of Sure Start Scotland provision took place in 2002, and a second updated mapping took place in 2004.  An evaluation of Early Years Policies in Scotland was reported in April 2004 and focused on the impact and outcomes of Sure Start Scotland and other related early years provision. Copies of the mapping reports and evaluation are available at the Scottish Executive web site:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/library5/education/msss-00.asp
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2005/12/21153916/39175
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/library5/education/eybaseline.pdf

The 2004 mapping report confirmed that all the services for which data was collected were meeting the range of Sure Start Scotland objectives.  Based on partial analysis, the 2004 mapping report also confirmed that the projects had more than met the Scottish Executive overall target for at least 15,000 vulnerable children aged 0-3 to be receiving integrated packages of care involving a range of services.  The expansion of services to meet the needs of the most vulnerable and the move towards joint working were both cited as achievements of the programme.

The Executive is keeping in touch with local authorities to discuss progress as part of an ongoing rolling programme of monitoring visits.  Executive officials are also engaging with officials from DfES, researchers and other colleagues to learn transferable lessons from the suite of evaluation materials produced by the National Evaluation of Sure Start (NESS) before further considering any national evaluation for the programme.

Scottish Executive
March 2006


Footnotes:

1 Five local authorities indicated that the overall number of initiatives announced by the Executive caused difficulties (AGS report, page 7,para 22)

2 AGS report, page 13, para 25

3 AGS report, page 6, paras 15 and 16

4 AGS report, page 15, para 34

5 AGS report page 7, para 20

6 AGS report page 18, paras 48 and 49 AGS Report Key Messages Summary, page 1

7 AGS report pge 16, paras 40 and 41

8 Committee Paper AU/S2/05/16/1

9 AGS report, page 1, Appendix 1

10 AGS report page 3, Key Findings

11 AGS report, page 20

12 AGS report page 6, Part 1

13 AGS report pages 15,16, 17 and 18