Working to achieve better public services

by Stephen Boyle, Auditor General for Scotland

ABOUT a year ago public service delivery was turned on its head. 

Vast sums of money were being spent to cope with the pandemic, and there was a huge shift to digital. Overnight, Audit Scotland became a virtual organisation. 

That changed landscape and the sheer pace of events meant our reporting had to become more agile and responsive, while maintaining audit quality and looking after our colleagues’ wellbeing.

We want our work and reports to be used widely so that they inform and help public services improve. We were already producing shorter, sharper briefing papers before Covid-19. Subjects included drugs and alcohol services, the student loan system and ways to get the best outcomes from public spending. But they were infrequent. Pieces of work with wider scopes tended to take precedence. 

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