Call for body to monitor public spend

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A NEW public services watchdog should be launched to monitor spending decisions of poorly performing councils and health boards, Scotland’s former Auditor General has said.

Robert Black has called for an Australian-style productivity commission to carry out reviews of how effectively taxpayers’ cash is being spent on areas such as disability care and support, carbon cutting and early years support.

Mr Black insisted such a body would be a “spur to change” and would encourage public organisations to make the most of scarce resources if they knew they were to come “under the spotlight” of a new watchdog.

He said the commission would be accountable to the Scottish Parliament and could “make good use” of the existing work of watchdog, Audit Scotland, on monitoring the spending of putlic bodies.