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A Holyrood committee has called for improvements to the way boards of public sector bodies are run following a “steady stream of critical reports”.
The public audit committee set out its concerns in a letter to the Finance Secretary Derek Mackay, highlighting the example of “significant governance failings” at the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) which eventually resulted in its chairman Andrew Flanagan announcing he will resign.
It also cited reports from current and previous auditors general on problems of governance and financial management at public bodies over many years.
Meanwhile, many of the criticisms of the structure and operation of public bodies’ boards set out in a 2010 audit report on the role of boards are still valid today, the committee said.
Concerns included board members feeling inhibited from challenging board chairs or chief executives, a lack of redress for members if the chief executive or chair is performing poorly, and the lack of an effective and transparent means of assessing performance.
The committee set out measures to address these problems, including the involvement of a senior independent director on a board as a “check and balance”.
Its letter also pointed to issues around appointments, and called for a simple and streamlined process to attract the well-qualified people with a successful track record in the public, private and third sectors rather than “those who are most adept at repeating public sector jargon”.
Acting convener Jackie Baillie MSP, said: “Our committee wants to be reassured that Scotland’s public bodies are spending public money wisely and delivering the best possible outcomes for the people they serve.
“In order to do so, they must be led by a well-functioning board with clear lines of responsibility and accountability.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We will consider the committee’s letter and its recommendations carefully and respond in due course.” A man has died following a road crash in Renfrewshire.
The 54-year-old was driving a white Ford Transit van in Johnstone when it hit a wall in Barrochan Road at about 7.50pm on Saturday.
The driver was taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, where he was pronounced dead. Wednesday’s Lotto jackpot will be an estimated £15.7million after noone scooped Saturday’s top prize. The winning Lotto numbers were 13, 18, 21, 30, 50, 54, and the bonus number was 20. The winning Thunderball numbers were 06, 14, 24, 38, 39, and the Thunderball was 04.
BY LYNSEY BEWS