The Accounts Commission for Scotland checks how well Scotland’s councils perform. It operates independently of local and central government.
The Council's Assurance and Improvement Plan for 2013-2016, identified that scrutiny was required on some aspects of Argyll andBute Council's leadership and culture, specifically the effectiveness of councillor to councillor and councillor to officer working relationships.
The Commission and has now published a report with their findings
The council has prepared an action plan which takes account of the findings and provides details of the actions it will take forward, the timescales involved, who will be responsible for these and how the actions link to the recommendations within the statutory report.
Update - 15th September 2014
In July 2014, the Accounts Commission prepared a follow-up to its earlier statutory report. The follow-up report and Accounts Commission findings will be considered by Argyll and Bute Council at its meeting on Thursday 25th September in the council chamber, Kilmory. You can read the detailed report and findings here on the website and in hard copy at the Council Headquarters, Kilmory, Lochgilphead, PA31 8RT during normal business hours.
Update - January 2016
In December the Accounts Commission prepared a follow up report to its earlier reports. The follow up report and Accounts Commission findings will be considered by Argyll and Bute Council at its meeting on Thursday 21st January in the council chamber, Kilmory. You can read the detailed report and findings here on the website and in hard copy at the council headquarters, Kilmory, Lochgilphead PA31 8RT during normal business hours.
Summary of Commission Findings
- The Commission accepts this report by the Controller of Audit on progress made by Argyll and Bute Council since our 2013 and 2014 reports on Best Value in the council.
- The Commission acknowledges and welcomes the progress by the council since 2013 in relation to improved governance, decision-making and scrutiny arrangements and the improving relationships between political groups and between members and officers.
- Members and senior officers need to consolidate this progress by continuing to improve the council’s openness, transparency and how it involves its communities in decision-making and scrutiny, in order to build the trust and confidence of service users and the public. More can be done to ensure a more effective contribution from area committees.
- The council’s current approach to the scale of the financial challenge it faces is not sustainable. This approach urgently needs to be more clearly linked to the council’s priorities and based on rigorous appraisal of options for service redesign.
- The Commission notes with disquiet the dysfunctional relationships which persist between a number of individuals. The Commission is firmly of the view that the interests of the public are best served by a shared commitment by all parties to maintaining constructive relationships and high standards of conduct.
- We will maintain our interest in the progress made by the council. The Controller of Audit will continue to monitor progress through the annual audit process.