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Rolling programme of performance audits

Consultation on proposed programme of performance audits 2012/13

Over the summer, we consulted on proposals for our rolling programme of national performance audits. The proposals included a mix of different sizes of projects ranging from smaller audits focusing on single issues, to larger cross-cutting audits focusing on the delivery of major services by partners in different parts of the public sector.

Over 60 organisations from central and local government, the health sector and other audit agencies responded and we would like to thank everyone who contributed.

Overall, there was strong support for the proposed topics. Most of the comments focused on the scope and timing of proposed performance audits rather than raising any challenge to their relevance or value.

Respondents also strongly supported the five strategic themes that underpin our performance audit work.

Based on the comments we received, we have made a number of changes to the 2012/13 programme of performance audits. We have removed the audits on community safety/crime prevention and the Scotland rural development fund from the rolling programme and brought forward an audit on outsourced contracts to start in 2012.

We also plan to start work on the General Practitioner (GP) prescribing audit later than originally planned, in May 2012, when new data becomes available.

Our work programme for 2012/13

Further information on these performance audits can be found in our work programme for 2012/13.

  • Learning the lessons of public bodies mergers
  • Health inequalities
  • Outsourced contracts
  • Stroke services (cancelled)
  • Reducing reoffending
  • GP prescribing
  • Major capital projects in local government
  • NHS annual overview
  • Consumer protection services
  • Scotland's public finances – workforce planning
  • Renewable energy

Topics under review (could potentially be brought forward to our Forward work programme)

We may decide to audit the following topics if they become more relevant or would add more value than a proposed audit in the 2012/13 programme, or issues of public concern arise. We will take our capacity to undertake a review into account, which may mean that an audit is added to the programme, or the programme is rescheduled to allow it to happen.

  • Climate change duties (to start 2013/14, builds on project in 2011/12 programme)
  • Commonwealth Games
  • Drug and alcohol follow-up
  • E-health
  • Early intervention in improving health
  • Housing overview/affordable housing
  • Intervention in early years
  • Major infrastructure projects
  • Mental health follow-up (dementia services)
  • National training programmes
  • Support to small and medium-sized enterprises
  • Sustainability of higher and further education
  • Telecare
  • Young people leaving care

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Five strategic themes

Our focus continues to be on value for money - economy, efficiency, effectiveness - and on governance and accountability. The following key themes underpin our programme.

  1. Managing reductions in public sector budgets: in recognition of the cost pressures facing public services alongside the need for sustainable economic growth; and building on and developing issues arising from our reports on Scotland’s public finances and Improving public sector efficiency.
  2. Investment: looking at accountability for the use of public funds; examining the scope for reducing cost overruns and improving project management; and assessing whether investing in services with early intervention leads to better outcomes and savings in the longer term.
  3. Partnership working: examining the value for money of partnership working and whether this way of planning and delivering services is making a real difference.
  4. User focus and personalisation: looking across organisational boundaries and identifying cost-effective ways of delivering services which better suit people’s needs at the same time as delivering savings.
  5. Environmental auditing: reviewing how Scotland is responding to the challenges of reducing carbon emissions and adapting to climate change.

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More information

Current programme

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