Our work programme

Our work programme sets out the audit work we plan to deliver during 2021/22. This includes:

The Auditor General for Scotland and the Accounts Commission are committed to ensuring public audit in Scotland:

Our work programme needs to be dynamic in this volatile and uncertain context. We will review and update it every three months to ensure it responds to changing circumstances.

While we plan to manage our work programme differently, we will retain our focus on producing high quality, evidence-led audit judgements and recommendations for improvement.


Planned audit work for 2021/22

The tables below summarise planned audit work for 2021/22. Check back to this page regularly for updates.

We will add details on the type of product planned and links to our audit scopes and reports when these are available.

Table key:

Joint Report by the Auditor General for Scotland and the Accounts Commission AGS & AC

Coming in the next few months

Audit product Author Publication date Contact
Auditing Climate Change: an update AGS & AC 21 October 2021 Sally Thompson: sathompson@audit-scotland.gov.uk
South Ayrshire: Best Value Assurance Report AC 27 October 2021 Mark MacPherson: mmacpherson@audit-scotland.gov.uk
Community empowerment Covid-19 update AGS & AC 28 October 2021 Jillian Matthew: jmatthew@audit-scotland.gov.uk
Social security: Blog AGS November 2021 Pauline Gillen: pgillen@audit-scotland.gov.uk
Falkirk Council: Best Value Assurance Report AC 13 January 2022 Tricia Meldrum: tmeldrum@audit-scotland.gov.uk
Investing in skills AGS 20 January 2022 Rebecca Seidel: rseidel@audit-scotland.gov.uk
Social care: Briefing AGS & AC 27 January 2022 Jillian Matthew: jmatthew@audit-scotland.gov.uk
Administration of Scottish Income Tax 2020/21 AGS January 2022 Richard Robinson: rrobinson@audit-scotland.gov.uk

Our full programme

To find out more about the broad range of work that we do, and explain our products, visit our work pages.

Economic recovery and growth
We’ll look at how public money is being used to support economic recovery and the renewal of public services including:

  • Public finances
  • Supporting jobs, business and enterprise
  • Skills and training
  • Infrastructure investment and low carbon economy
  • Impact of EU withdrawal
Audit work in 2021/22 Author
Infrastructure Investment Plan and strategic capital investment AGS
Investing in skills AGS
Covid-19 and the Scottish Government's provisional outturn blog AGS
Covid-19: Support for businesses AGS & AC
Scottish economic recovery AGS & AC

Governance and accountability
We’ll look at how public bodies are ensuring proper and effective use of public money across the public sector and within individual bodies including:

  • Following the pandemic pound
  • Collaborative leadership
  • Fraud risks
  • Effective scrutiny
Audit work in 2021/22 Author
New ferries for the Clyde and Hebrides AGS
Statutory reports: section 22s AGS
Statutory reports: section 102s AC
Annual audits AGS & AC
Reviewing Scotland's financial response to the Covid-19 pandemic AGS & AC
Covid 19: Following the pandemic pound: our strategy AS
Cyber security and resilience AS
Annual report: Fraud and irregularity AS
Tracking the implications of Covid-19 on Scotland's public finances AS
Tracking the impact of Covid-19 on Scotland's public finances AS
Strategic risks and issues affecting the Scottish public sector AS
Data governance and ethics AS

Innovation and transformation
We’ll look at how public bodies are learning through continuous improvement, innovation and by transforming public services including:

  • Local government
  • NHS
  • Best Value
  • Service redesign
  • Digital transformation
  • Workforce planning
Audit work in 2021/22 Author
NHS in Scotland 2021 AGS
Local government in Scotland: Financial overview 2020/21 AC
Local government overview 2021: Challenges and performance AC
Aberdeen City Council Best Value Assurance Report AC
East Dunbartonshire Council Best Value Assurance Report AC
South Ayrshire Council Best Value Assurance Report AC
Falkirk Council Best Value Assurance Report AC
Moray Council Best Value Assurance Report (Follow-up) AC
eHub: Digital response to Covid AS

Policy priorities and commitments
We’ll look at progress on key policy commitments and public services’ ability to deliver on long-term strategic priorities and outcomes, including:

  • Health and social care integration
  • Early learning and childcare
  • School education
  • Community empowerment
  • Community justice
  • Courts backlogs
  • Climate change
Audit work in 2021/22 Author
Scotland's colleges 2020 AGS
Personal Protective Equipment AGS
Sustainable alternatives to custody AGS
Vaccinations AGS
Community empowerment AC
Climate change AGS & AC
Social care AS
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services AS

Inequalities and human rights
We’ll look at how Covid-19 is impacting on different groups in society, focusing on the risk of deepening existing inequalities. Our work will help to ensure public bodies address inequalities and protect human rights, recognising the multiple ways people experience disadvantage and poorer outcomes. Key areas of focus include:

  • Child poverty
  • Children and young people with additional support needs
  • Care experienced children and young people
  • Mental health
  • Housing benefit
  • Digital exclusion
  • Social security
Audit work in 2021/22 Author
Housing Benefit Performance Audit - Annual Update​ AC
The impact of Covid-19 on Scottish councils' benefit services AC
Blog: Digital exclusion AC
Digital exclusion and connectivity AGS & AC
Mainstreaming Equalities and Equalities Outcomes Progress 2019-21 AS
Equality outcomes 2021-25 AS

Our principles

These principles will underpin how we plan and deliver our work programme. Some will be more prominent than others depending on the nature of the audit activity. We will continue to develop how we apply them in practice.

Providing assurance and driving improvement:
We will use our unique local and national perspective to provide assurance about how Scotland’s public services are responding to Covid-19. We will aim to provide insight and learning, and drive improvement, innovation and transformational change as Scotland moves towards recovery and renewal.

Taking a risk-based and proportionate approach:
We recognise the potential impact of audit work on people working in public services who are still responding to Covid-19. We will ensure our audit response is proportionate and risk-based, and that audited bodies have clear advance notice of any planned work.

Taking a person-centred approach:
Where we can, we will capture the needs and concerns of the people who use public services through our audit work.

Being flexible and agile:
We will adapt our work programme as new issues emerge or risks change. We will use a range of approaches to report our audit work.

Integrating cross cutting issues:
We will integrate thinking on issues that cut across policy areas and have an impact on citizens and service users throughout our audit work. For example: prevention, digital, inequality and human rights, climate change, community engagement