Budget Scrutiny 2020-21


About the Inquiry


A "full-year" approach to budget scrutiny is envisaged under the new process set out in the report of the Budget Process Review Group. 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 Committee considered its work programme on 12 December 2018 and on 23 January 2019 and agreed to hold an evidence session on staff absenteeism in local authorities as part of its pre-budget scrutiny for 2020-21.

Wednesday 20 February 2019

The Committee took evidence from:

  • Nikki Bridle, Chief Executive, and Stuart Crickmar, Strategic Director, Partnership and Performance, Clackmannanshire Council;
  • Paul McGowan, Head of Human Resources, East Ayrshire Council;
  • Drew Duffy, Public Services Senior Organiser, GMB Scotland;
  • Sharon McKenzie, President, Society of Personnel and Development Scotland;
  • Johanna Baxter, Head of Local Government Bargaining, UNISON Scotland.

Link to papers for meeting on 20 February 2019
Link to Official Report of meeting on 20 February 2019

Following the evidence session, the Committee agreed to write to Glasgow City Council, COSLA, SOLACE Scotland and the Improvement Service on issues raised during the meeting:

The following responses were received:

Wednesday 8 May 2019

The Committee took evidence on the report entitled Local Government in Scotland: Challenges and Performance 2019 from: 

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

Link to papers for the meeting on 8 May 

Link to Official Report of meeting on 8 May 2019

Following the evidence session, the Committee agreed to write to COSLA on issued raised during the meeting: 

The Committee received the following response:

Call for Views

The Committee has today, Tuesday 2 July 2019, launched a call for written evidence on its pre-budget scrutiny into the long-term financial sustainability of local government. Views are welcome from the local government sector itself and from any experts or individuals with an interest in local government and local services and with views about how best to ensure that the sector has a sustainable future.

For further details on the Committee's call for written evidence, please see the link below:

Read the call for evidence.

Written Submissions

The following written submissions were received:

Read the written submissions.


The Minister for Older People and Equalities wrote to the Convener on 22 August 2019:

Correspondence from the Minister for Older People and Equalities to the Convener of 22 August 2019 (99KB pdf)

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