The Accounts Commission and the Improvement Service have confirmed a formal collaboration focused on accelerating the improvement and pace of change in local government services. There will be a strong focus on driving change and improvement on the key pressures councils are facing: the impact of COVID-19, escalating service demand and financial constraints.
Both organisations will maximise the impact of their unique roles in supporting local government in Scotland.
- joint work on key strategic areas for local government including: responding to the economic and social impact of COVID-19, employability and fair work, child poverty, climate change, health and social care integration, community empowerment, digital transformation, collaborative leadership, equalities and governance
- working with elected members to drive forward change in critical areas such as community empowerment, partnership working and effective scrutiny
- delivering collaborative events in priority areas for local government, presenting opportunities to share insight and accelerate change
- the Accounts Commission involving the Improvement Service in developing a new approach to auditing Integration Joint Boards.
Elma Murray, Interim Chair of the Accounts Commission, said: “I am delighted that the Accounts Commission will now be working even more closely with the Improvement Service. Our joint focus continues to be the drive, commitment and momentum to improve local council services across Scotland, for the benefit of citizens. We will use our distinct and unique roles to inform, facilitate and support each other’s work, with joint priorities, to improve local government at a time of unprecedented challenge and at a time when change in how services are delivered must now accelerate.”
Councillor Alison Evison, Chair of the Improvement Service board, said: “I welcome this alliance, which builds on the existing strong relationship between the Improvement Service and the Accounts Commission.
“Local Government and the communities it serves face unprecedented challenges as we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. By capitalising on our complementary strengths, skills, knowledge and experience, we will accelerate the transformation and improvement of council services for the benefit of all citizens.”