Reflecting on a career at Audit Scotland

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By Dave McConnell, Audit Director

It rather seems to have crept up on me but I will be retiring from Audit Scotland later in the year, so I had better give it some thought! Before that though, I have so many aspects of life and work in Audit Scotland over many years to reflect on.

I am sure whoever will be taking over my responsibilities as an Audit Director in ASG will find the role as challenging and rewarding as I have. It is, I think, one of the most interesting jobs in the organisation as it bridges external and internal facing work on a regular basis. Continue reading Reflecting on a career at Audit Scotland

A honest conversation is needed as the NHS turns 70

Caroline_twitter_400pxBy Caroline Gardner, Auditor General for Scotland

As the NHS reaches its 70th birthday, the signs of strain are unmistakeable. We all rely on it at critical points in our lives, and survey after survey shows how highly we value it. But the needs of an ageing population, healthcare costs that grow faster than the rest of the economy and increasing staff shortages – all mean that the NHS needs to change to survive.

Continue reading A honest conversation is needed as the NHS turns 70

Preparing for life outside the EU

as_sm_Themes_17By Mark Roberts, Senior Manager, Audit Scotland

At eleven in the evening, on the 29th March next year, the UK will leave the European Union. At Audit Scotland, we are interested in what this means for the 222 organisations we audit and the Scottish public sector as a whole.

MR_ProfileWithdrawal from the EU represents a major constitutional change. It is happening at the same time as a significant expansion of the Scottish Parliament’s financial powers. Understanding, assessing and reporting on how all these changes together affect Scotland’s public finances and public sector organisations has been, and will continue to be, a major element of our work. Continue reading Preparing for life outside the EU

Help improve public services in Scotland as a Graduate Trainee

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By Mark Taylor, Assistant Director, Audit Scotland

This is a really exciting time to join us in the world of public audit. With less than a year until the UK formally leaves the EU and continuing pressures on public services, public audit really has never been more important. Continue reading Help improve public services in Scotland as a Graduate Trainee

Guest blog: The journey to becoming a Chartered Accountant

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Applications for Audit Scotland’s Graduate Trainee Scheme are now open.  Our four-year scheme provides training and development, with plenty of hands-on work experience and support as you complete your Chartered Accountant (CA) qualification with ICAS. So what’s the teaching element of the scheme like? What would you study and what exams would you take? We asked Graham Foster from ICAS to tell you a bit more… Continue reading Guest blog: The journey to becoming a Chartered Accountant

Performance audit – unique and unifying work from around the world

Fraser imageBy Fraser McKinlay, Director of Performance Audit and Best Value

In March, I was lucky enough to travel to Sydney, Australia, to speak at the IMPACT 2018 conference.  It’s a biannual gathering of performance auditors, organised by the Australasian Council of Auditors General (ACAG), and this year hosted by the Auditor General of New South Wales.

It was a fantastic opportunity to share with colleagues my experiences of auditing in an increasingly devolved Scotland, and learn from the best approaches to performance auditing around the world. Continue reading Performance audit – unique and unifying work from around the world

Calling all school leavers

School-Leaver_blog_bannerLauryn Graham joined Audit Scotland in October 2017 as a trainee. But unlike our other trainees Lauryn hadn’t been to university. Instead she came to us straight from high school and became the first person in Audit Scotland to be hired as part of a new initiative offering a training position to a school leaver. It’s a unique opportunity to contribute to our work, gain full sponsorship to become a qualified Chartered Accountant with ICAS, and get paid. This year we’re seeking two new school leavers to join us at Audit Scotland. So, almost a year into the five-year role what has Lauryn’s experience been like so far?
Continue reading Calling all school leavers

Why 2018 matters: social security and the Scottish Government

by Caroline Gardner

Caroline_twitter_400pxA new phase in Scotland’s devolved powers began with last week’s passing of the Social Security Bill.

Major new responsibilities for delivering benefits worth around £3 billion a year now sit with the Scottish Government. Unsurprisingly, the stakes are high.

The Government is committed to delivering the first wave of devolved benefits by summer 2019, including the carer’s allowance supplement, the Best Start grant, and assistance with funeral expenses. Continue reading Why 2018 matters: social security and the Scottish Government

Reporting on social security – behind the scenes

Caroline_twitter_400pxBy Caroline Gardner, Auditor General for Scotland

Around 1.4m of the most vulnerable people in Scotland will be affected by Parliament’s major new social security powers – the main focus of my recent report on the implementation of the Scotland Acts.

A huge amount of work is facing the Scottish Government as they prepare to take responsibility for benefits to carers and disabled people, some ill-health related benefits, parts of the Social Fund, and discretionary housing payments. Continue reading Reporting on social security – behind the scenes