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Business Bulletin 1999-2011

Minutes of Proceedings 1999-2011

Journal of Parliamentary Proceedings Sessions 1 & 2

Committees Sessions 1, 2 & 3

Annual reports

On 11 December 2008 the name and remit changed from Audit Committee to Public Audit Committee

The Committee's main area of work is consideration of reports from the Auditor General for Scotland (AGS). The AGS is responsible for scrutinising the expenditure and performance of departments of the Scottish Government and most other public spending bodies, with the exception of local authorities, and police and fire boards. Audit Scotland is the agency which carries out auditing work on behalf of the AGS.

The AGS briefs the committee on every report produced. Having received this briefing, the Committee can take a range of actions, including simply noting the report, seeking further clarification from the Accountable Officer of the body concerned or agreeing to conduct a committee inquiry.

Committee reports in 2011

1st Report 2011 Session 3 reports of the Public Audit Committee – key themes.

The Committee agreed to produce a report reflecting on the Public Audit Committee’s Session 3 reports up to October 2010 and highlighting issues the Committee have repeatedly recommended action on.  The key themes identified in the report are transparency, data collection and measuring quality and governance.  At its meetings on 22 December 2010 and 12 January 2011, the Committee considered and agreed its draft report.  The Committee published its report on 18 January 2011.  The Committee considered and agreed to note a response from the Accountable Officer at its meeting on 2 March 2011.


Consideration of reports from the Auditor General for Scotland in 2011

The Committee has corresponded with the appropriate Accountable Officer in relation to most Auditor General for Scotland (AGS) reports. Details of the Public Audit Committee's consideration of the reports, along with relevant correspondence can be found on the Meeting Papers and Official Reports page.

Section 23 reports

Section 23 reports examine the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector. The Committee completed its consideration of the following section 23 AGS reports in 2011:

The Gathering 2009

The Committee held an inquiry into the AGS section 23 report entitled “The Gathering 2009.”  The Committee’s report was published on 24 February 2011 and is available in the “committee reports” section.

The Committee received and considered written evidence from the following:

Getting it right for children in residential care

The Committee received a briefing on the AGS report entitled "Getting it right for children in residential care" at its meeting on 22 September 2010. The Committee’s report was published on the 22 February 2011 and is available in the “committee reports” section.

The Committee received and considered the following written evidence:

National concessionary travel

The Committee received a briefing on the AGS report entitled “National concessionary travel” at its meeting on 10 November 2010.  The Committee’s report was published on the 1 March 2011 and is available in the “committee reports” section.

The Committee received and considered the following written evidence:

Edinburgh trams: Interim report

At its meeting on 9 February 2011, the Committee received a briefing on the AGS report entitled “Edinburgh trams: Interim report” and agreed to invite the City of Edinburgh Council, tie ltd and Transport Scotland to give oral evidence at future meetings. 

At its meeting on 23 February 2011, the Committee took oral evidence from Sue Brue, Chief Executive, Donald McGougan, Director of Finance, Dave Anderson, Director of City Development, and Alastair Maclean Head of Legal and Administrative Services, The City of Edinburgh Council, and Richard Jeffrey, Chief Executive, tie ltd.  The Committee heard evidence from David Middleton, Chief Executive and Ainslie McLaughlin, Director of Major Transport Infrastructure Projects, Transport Scotland.

Maintaining Scotland’s roads: A follow up report

At its meeting on 2 March 2011, the Committee received a briefing from the Auditor General for Scotland on his report entitled “Maintaining Scotland’s roads: A follow-up report”.  The Committee agreed to include comments on the report within its legacy paper for the Session 4 Public Audit Committee.

The cost of public sector pensions in Scotland

At its meeting on 2 March 2011, the Committee received a briefing from the Auditor General for Scotland on his report entitled “The cost of public sector pensions in Scotland”.  The Committee agreed to include comments on the report within its legacy paper for the Session 4 Public Audit Committee and to refer the report to the Finance Committee for its information.

Management of the Scottish Government’s capital investment programme

At its meeting on 2 February 2011, the Committee received a briefing on the AGS report entitled “Management of the Scottish Government’s capital investment programme” and agreed to consider a statement on the issues which arose during discussion, in private, at a future meeting and to include comments on the report within its legacy paper for the Session 4 Public Audit Committee.  At its meeting on 23 February, the Committee agreed its statement which was then issued on 25 February 2011.

Improving energy efficiency: A follow-up report

At its meeting on 12 January 2011, the Committee received a briefing on the AGS report entitled "Improving energy efficiency: A follow-up report. The Committee agreed to write to the Accountable Officer and the UK Government on matters raised during discussion.  At its meeting on 2 March 2011, the Committee agreed to note the responses received.

The role of boards

The Committee received a briefing on the AGS report entitled "The role of boards" at its meeting on 6 October 2010.  The Committee’s report was published on the 25 January 2011 and is available in the “committee reports” section.  At its meeting on 2 March 2011, the Committee considered and agreed to note responses from the Accountable Officer, the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments in Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council.

The Committee received and considered the following written evidence:

 

Review of orthopaedic services

The Committee received a briefing on the AGS report entitled "Review of orthopaedic services" at its meeting on 14 April 2010.  The Committee's report was published on 16 November 2010 and is available in the "Committee Reports" section.  The Committee considered and agreed to note a formal response from the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing at its meeting on 26 January 2011.

The Committee received and considered the following written evidence:

 

Section 22 reports

Section 22 reports concern the audit of accounts of individual public bodies. The Committee has completed its consideration of the following section 22 AGS reports in 2011:

The 2009/2010 audit of the Scottish Government consolidated accounts

The Committee received a briefing from the AGS on his report entitled "The 2009/2010 audit of the Scottish Government consolidated accounts" at its meeting on 24 November 2010 and agreed to refer the report to the Finance Committee and write to the Accountable Officer. The Committee agreed, at its meeting on 12 January 2011, to note correspondence from the Accountable Officer on the Auditor General for Scotland's report entitled "The 2009/2010 audit of the Scottish Government consolidated accounts".

The 2009/10 audit of the National Library of Scotland

At its meeting on 2 February 2011, the Committee agreed to note the report from the Auditor General for Scotland entitled “The 2009/10 audit of the National Library of Scotland” and to include comments on the report within its legacy paper for the Session 4 Public Audit Committee.


Consideration of reports from the Auditor General for Scotland in 2010

The Committee has corresponded with the appropriate Accountable Officer in relation to most Auditor General for Scotland (AGS) reports. Details of the Public Audit Committee's consideration of the reports, along with relevant correspondence can be found on the Meeting Papers and Official Reports page.

Section 23 reports

Section 23 reports examine the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector. The Committee completed its consideration of the following section 23 AGS reports in 2010:

Overview of mental health services

The Committee undertook an inquiry into the AGS section 23 report entitled "Overview of mental health services".  The Committee's report was published on 19 May 2010 and is available in the "Committee Reports" section.  The Committee considered and agreed to note the Scottish Government's formal response at its meeting on 22 September 2010 and agreed on issues to be included in its legacy paper.

The Committee received and considered written evidence from the following:

 

Improving public sector efficiency

The Committee received a briefing on the AGS report "Improving public sector efficiency" at its meeting on 10 March 2010. The Committee considered correspondence from the Accountable Officer at its meeting on 28 April and agreed to refer it to the Finance Committee to inform its inquiry into the efficient delivery of public services. The Committee considered, and agreed to note, further correspondence from the Accountable Officer at its meeting on 9 June 2010.

Protecting and improving Scotland's environment

The Committee received a briefing on the AGS report "Protecting and improving Scotland's environment" at its meeting on 10 February 2010 and considered further written information from the Accountable Officer at its meeting on 14 April 2010. The Committee agreed to refer the report and correspondence to the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee.

Managing NHS waiting lists

The Committee received a briefing on the AGS report "Managing NHS waiting lists" at its meeting on 24 March 2010 and has requested further written information from the Accountable Officer. The Committee considered correspondence from the Accountable Officer at its meeting on 12 May and agreed to refer it to the Health and Sport Committee for its consideration.

Review of Cairngorm Funicular

The Committee undertook an inquiry into the AGS section 23 report entitled "Review of Cairngorm funicular railway".  The Committee's report was published on 3 March 2010 and is availalble in the "Committee Reports" section.  The Committee considered formal responses from HIE and the Scottish Government at its meeting on 12 May 2010.

Using locum doctors in hospitals

The Committee received a briefing on the AGS report "Using locum doctors in hospitals" at its meeting on 8 September 2010 and agreed to note the report.

Commonwealth Games 2014: Progress Report on planning for the delivery of the XXth Games

The Committee undertook an inquiry into the AGS section 23 report entitled "Commonwealth Games 2014: Progress Report on planning for the delivery of the XXth Games".   The Committee's report was published on 7 October 2010 and is available in the "Committee Reports" section.  The Committee considered and agreed to note a formal response to its report from the Minister for Public Health and Sport at its meeting on 8 December 2010.

The Committee received and considered the following written evidence:

Overview of the NHS in Scotland’s performance 2008/09

The Committee undertook an inquiry into the AGS report entitled "Overview of the NHS in Scotland’s performance 2008/09".   The Committee's report was published on 5 October 2010 and is available in the "Committee Reports" section.  The Committee considered and agreed to note a formal response to its report from the Accountable Officer at its meeting on 8 December 2010.

The Committee received and considered written evidence from the following:

Emergency departments

The Committee received a briefing on the AGS report entitled "Emergency departments" at its meeting on 15 September 2010. The Committee then took oral evidence from Dr Kevin Woods, Director General Health and Chief Executive of the NHS in Scotland, and Derek Feeley, Director of Healthcare Policy and Strategy, Scottish Government, and Dr Bill Morrison, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, NHS Tayside at its meeting on 27 October 2010. The Committee considered correspondence from the Accountable Officer at its meeting on 8 December and agreed to note the response and refer it to the Health and Sport Committee.

The Scottish Police Services Authority

The Committee received a briefing from the AGS on his report entitled "The Scottish Police Services Authority" at its meeting on 10 November 2010 and agreed to write to the Permanent Secretary on issues raised during discussion. The Committtee also agreed to refer the report to the Justice Committee for its consideration highlighting issues of concern. The Committee considered and agreed to note a response from the Permanent Secretary at its meeting on 22 December 2010.

Financial overview of the NHS in Scotland 2009/10

The Committee received a briefing from the AGS on his report entitled "Financial overview of the NHS in Scotland 2009/10" at its meeting on 22 December 2010 and agreed to note the report.

Section 22 reports

Section 22 reports concern the audit of accounts of individual public bodies. The Committee completed its consideration of the following section 22 AGS reports in 2010:

The 2008/09 audit of Registers of Scotland

The Committee undertook an inquiry into the AGS section 22 report entitled "The 2008/09 audit of Registers of Scotland".  The Committee's report was published on 12 February 2010 and is available in the "Committee Reports " section.  The Committee considered and agreed to note the formal response from the Accountable Officer at its meeting on 28 April 2010.

The 2008/09 audit of Transport Scotland

The Committee undertook an inquiry into the AGS section 22 report entitled "The 2008/09 audit of Transport Scotland".  The Committee's report was published on 20 May 2010 and is available in the "Committee Reports" section.  The Committee considered and agreed to note the Scottish Government's formal response at its meeting on 15 September 2010 and agreed on on issues to be included in its legacy paper.

The 2008/09 audit of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland Administration

The Committee undertook an inquiry into the AGS section 22 report entitled "The 2008/09 audit of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland Administration".   The Commitee's report was published on 24 May 2010 and is available in the "Committee Reports" section.  The Committee considered and agreed to note the Scottish Government's formal response at its meeting on 22 September 2010.

Other reports

National Fraud Inititative in Scotland

The Committee received a briefing on, and agreed to note, the joint AGS and Accounts Commission report entitled "National Fraud Initiative in Scotland" at its meeting on 9 June.



Consideration of reports from the Auditor General for Scotland in 2009

The Committee has corresponded with the appropriate Accountable Officer in relation to most Auditor General for Scotland (AGS) reports. Details of the Public Audit Committee's consideration of the reports, along with relevant correspondence can be found on the Meeting Papers and Official Reports page.

Section 23 reports

Section 23 reports examine the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector. The Committee completed its consideration of the following section 23 AGS reports in 2009:

  • How government works: central government's use of consultancy services
  • Asset management in the NHS in Scotland
  • Drug and alcohol services in Scotland
  • Managing the use of medicines in hospitals
  • Improving public sector purchasing
  • Improving civil contingencies planning
  • Scotland’s public finances: preparing for the future

The First passenger rail franchise

The Committee held an inquiry into the Section 23 report "The First ScotRail passenger rail franchise". The Committee's report was published on 11 June 2009 and is available in the "Committee Reports" section.

On 24 June the Convener wrote to the Auditor General for Scotland to ask him to examine further issues surrounding the franchise extension in light of information included in a report by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT). A copy of the letter is available at the following link: Letter to AGS

 

Section 22 reports

Section 22 reports concern the audit of accounts of individual public bodies. The Committee has completed its consideration of the following section 22 AGS reports in 2009:

  • The Queen’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer 2006/07 and 2007/08 accounts

  • The 2007/2008 audit of Stow College
  • The 2008/2009 audit of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

The 2007/2008 audit of VisitScotland

The Committee also held and inquiry into the AGS section 22 report entitled "The 2007/2008 Audit of VisitScotland".  The Committee published its report on 14 May and it is available in the "Committee Reports" section. The Committee considered a formal response from the Accountable Officer at its meeting on 9 September 2009.


Consideration of reports from the Auditor General for Scotland in 2008

The Committee has corresponded with the appropriate Accountable Officer in relation to most Auditor General for Scotland (AGS) reports. Details of the Audit Committee's consideration of the reports, along with relevant correspondence can be found on the Meeting Papers and Official Reports page.

Section 23 reports

Section 23 reports examine the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector.The Committee has considered the following section 23 AGS reports published in 2008:

  • Day surgery in Scotland reviewing progress
  • Review of palliative care services in Scotland
  • Review of the new General Medical Services contract
  • Review of major capital projects in Scotland
  • Review of NHS Diagnostic services
  • Managing increasing prisoner numbers in Scotland
  • A performance overview of sport in Scotland
  • Financial overview of Scotland's colleges 2006/07
  • Financial overview of the NHS in Scotland 2007/08
  • Improving the school estate
  • Improving energy efficiency
  • National fraud initiative in Scotland 2006/07
  • A review of free personal and nursing care
  • The First ScotRail passenger rail franchise

Section 22 reports

Section 22 reports concern the audit of accounts of individual public bodies. The Committee has considered the following section 22 AGS reports published in 2008:

  • The 2006/07 Audit of James Watt College
  • The 2006/07 Audit of Kilmarnock College
  • The 2007/08 Audit of Western Isles Health Board
  • The 2007/08 Audit of Highlands and Islands Enterprise

A list of AGS reports published in 2007 and considered by the Audit Committee is available on the Audit Committee Completed Business page.