Public Spending Bodies Scrutinised

Scotland's main educational and cultural bodies will be asked to demonstrate how effectively they are spending public money by a Holyrood Committee.

Creative Scotland, Education Scotland, the Scottish Qualifications Authority, Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council are to be scrutinised by the Scottish Parliament's Education and Culture Committee.

With budgets ranging from £40 million to over £1 billion, the public bodies help to deliver key Scottish Government priorities in areas such as educational attainment, curriculum for excellence, training, culture and youth employment.

The Committee will scrutinise spending decisions and outcomes the bodies have delivered during a series of evidence sessions that will explore how the organisations help to deliver tangible improvements to key public services.

Committee Convener, Stewart Maxwell MSP, said: "There are a range of public bodies working in Scotland's cultural and educational landscape. It is important that we understand the impact of these organisations, the value they add and how effectively they work together.

"We will be looking at their strategic objectives as well as how transparent they are in reporting on their work. The bodies play a major role in public life and it is important that they demonstrate how effectively they are spending public money.

"It is important we ask the difficult questions to a range of these bodies. This will allow us to better understand the functions and how they work, both individually and together. We will follow up with the Scottish Government the key points that emerge from our discussions.''

The Committee today issued a call for submissions on each of the organisations, covering themes such as the tangible benefits Creative Scotland has achieved as a result of its funding structure and the relationship between Education Scotland and schools and local authorities.

It has written to the five bodies to invite them to submit written information before they provide oral evidence.

Five separate meetings will be held with the organisations in autumn 2015, before the Scottish Government publishes its 2016-17 Draft Budget.

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