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Willie Coffey (Scottish National Party) | Question S3W-37538

To ask the Scottish Executive what consideration it has given to the extension to all public bodies of a statutory duty to deliver best value.

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John Swinney (Scottish National Party)

Under the terms of the Public Finance and Accountability Scotland Act 2000 all accountable officers of the Scottish administration and of public bodies are under a specific duty to ensure that arrangements are in place to secure best value. As public bodies are accountable to ministers, and through ministers to the Parliament, the Scottish Government does not consider it necessary to apply an express statutory duty to public bodies in respect of best value.

Compliance with the duty of best value is an auditable requirement for public bodies under section 22(1)(c) of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000. Audit Scotland set out its approach in the leaflet Auditing Best Value in central government bodies which is available on the Audit Scotland website at:

http://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/docs/corp/2009/bv_audit_best_value_central_gov.pdf

Scottish ministers are clear that best value is a powerful tool for improving performance and accountability across the public sector, including local government, central government and public bodies.

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