Budget Scrutiny 2019-20

 

About the Inquiry

Background 

Following the report of the Budget Process Review Group, the current financial year is the first in which the revised process set out in the report will be used by Parliamentary Committees. A "full-year" approach to budget scrutiny is envisaged under the new process. Committees are expected to incorporate budget scrutiny, including public engagement, into their work prior to the Scottish Government publishing firm and detailed spending proposals towards the end of the calendar year (by way of the annual Budget Bill), and, overall, to be more strategic and outcome-focussed in their scrutiny. The revised process envisages committees publishing reports following that scrutiny in November of each calendar year, so that the Scottish Government can take note of any recommendations before publishing the Budget Bill.

The Convener of the Finance and Constitution Committee wrote to the Committee on 22 May 2018 with further details of this "full-year approach":

Evidence

The Committee considered its work programme on 2 May 2018 and agreed its approach to budget scrutiny. The Committee agreed to hold an evidence session on workforce planning in local government as part of its budget scrutiny.

Wednesday 20 June 2018

The Committee took evidence from:

  • Dave Watson, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, UNISON Scotland;
  • Rebecca Marek, Parliamentary and Policy Officer, Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights;
  • Sharon Dick, President, Society for Personnel and Development Scotland;
  • Sara Tennant, Talent and Organisational Development Manager, North Lanarkshire Council, representing Public Sector Network.

Papers for meeting on 20 June 2018
Official Report of meeting on 20 June 2018

The Committee considered its work programme on 27 June 2018 and agreed to hold a further evidence session in relation to pre-budget scrutiny of the 2019-20 Scottish budget and agreed at its meeting on 12 September 2018 that the evidence session should focus on housing adaptations.

Wednesday 3 October 2018

The Committee took evidence, in a roundtable format, from:

  • Jenny Laing, Senior Community Occupational Therapist, Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership;
  • Tony Cain, Policy Manager, Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers;
  • Nora Uhrig, Senior Associate - Programmes Scotland, Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland;
  • Lisa Innes, Housing Adviser, Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living;
  • Mark Farey, Director of Asset Management, Hanover (Scotland) Housing Association;
  • Moira Bayne, Chief Executive, Housing Options Scotland;
  • Fiona King, National Campaigns and Policy Manager, Shelter Scotland.

Papers for meeting on 3 October 2018
Official report of meeting on 3 October 2018

Supplementary Written Submissions

The following supplementary written submissions were received from organisations who gave evidence on Wednesday 3 October 2018:

Written Submissions

Following its pre-budget scrutiny evidence sessions, the Committee received the following written submissions from organisations who wished to assist the Committee in its consideration of the budget:

Wednesday 12 December 2018

The Committee took evidence from:

  • Graham Sharp, Chair, and Fraser McKinlay, Controller of Audit, Accounts Commission;
  • Brian Howarth, Audit Director, and Ashleigh Madjitey, Senior Auditor, Audit Scotland.

Papers for meeting on 12 December 2018
Official Report of meeting on 12 December 2018

Wednesday 9 January 2019

The Committee took evidence from:

  • Cllr Gail Macgregor, Spokesperson for Resources, and Vicki Bibby, Head of Resources, COSLA;
  • Annemarie O'Donnell, Chair, SOLACE Scotland.

and then from:

  • Derek Mackay, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work, Aileen Campbell, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, and Graham Owenson, Head of Local Government Finance, Scottish Government.

Papers for meeting on 9 January 2019
Official Report of meeting on 9 January 2019

Correspondence

Following its evidence sessions as part of its pre-budget scrutiny, the Committee agreed themes to be included in correspondence to the Scottish Government on the 2019/20 Scottish budget. The Convener wrote to the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning on 1 November 2018:

The Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government replied to the Convener's letter on 19 December 2018:

Following its evidence session with the Scottish Government on 9 January 2019, the Convener wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work and the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government on 23 January 2019 summarising the key issues the Committee wishes to draw to the Scottish Government's attention:

The Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work and the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government replied to the Convener's letter on 8 February 2019:

Following its evidence session with COSLA on 9 January 2019, the Convener wrote to the Resources Spokesperson on 5 February 2019 with a request for follow-up information:

COSLA replied to the Convener's letter on 29 March 2019:

Correspondence on Local Taxation and Local Government Finance

The Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work wrote to the Convener on 31 January 2019 in relation to local taxation and local government finance:

Correspondence from the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work to the Finance and Constitution Committee

The Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work wrote to the Convener of the Finance and Constitution Committee on 6 December 2018 on the National Performance Framework. This correspondence was copied to the Convener of the Local Government and Communities Committee and is published below:

Correspondence on the methodologies used to distribute local authority funding in 2019-20

The Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work and the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government wrote to the Convener on 16 October 2019:

 
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