The role of the Accounts Commission is indispensable

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We’re looking for a Deputy Chair of the Accounts Commission. And so we asked current Deputy Chair, Ronnie Hinds to give us a bit of insight into the role.

By Ronnie Hinds, Deputy Chair, Accounts Commission

First up, please don’t be put off by the dry title, the Accounts Commission.

Our work and role is endlessly fascinating and hugely important. As the public watchdog for local government, our reports are authoritative and we’re highly regarded by national and local government. We work impartially and independently of the Scottish Government and local authorities. It’s this that makes the role and impact of the Commission so significant.as_web_AC_02

The Accounts Commission, all twelve of us, are committed to providing assurance to the public on £20 billion of expenditure on vital services. These are the services all of us and our families use, every day – from education and social care, to roads and waste services.

The role of the Deputy Chair is a very influential position. I’ve been involved with all key areas of the Accounts Commission work. From deciding where to focus audit resources for biggest impact; having a hands-on role in key  reviews of individual councils and local government; fronting reports for the media and dealing with senior politicians.

It really is a demanding but hugely enjoyable role that is sure to challenge you and will certainly require you to draw on many different skills.

As Deputy Chair you work as a member of the Commission, alongside 11 talented, engaged and questioning colleagues, all with different backgrounds, each bringing a unique perspective to our discussions. For me it has been a privilege to work with them, exchange views and be driven to achieve our collective goal – improving public services in Scotland.

Since joining the Commission, there have been some real highlights. These include: witnessing a visible improvement in individual councils as a consequence of our work; helping identify good practice in emerging Health and Social Care Integration, whilst emphasising risks around achievement of desired results in these critical services; drawing attention to impact of funding reductions on everyday public services and supporting improvement and value for money across all 32 councils.

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Looking forward, there are demanding times ahead. There is clearly going to be increasing pressure on public spending, at a time of growing demand for public services. This means a greater focus on getting best value for the public pound.

High quality audit work is ever more essential to support councils to deal with this.

That’s why the role of the Accounts Commission is indispensable.

Now the question is what can you bring to us?

Find out more about the role and how to apply here. And why not join us at our next Commission meeting? It’s an excellent opportunity to find out more about some of the current issues we’re discussing and the role all members have in scrutinising the reports and briefings presented.

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