Watchdog to scrutinise Scotlands ombudsmen

17 Nov 05
Auditor general Bob Black is to investigate the soaring cost of Scotland's independent commissioners and ombudsmen.

18 November 2005

Auditor general Bob Black is to investigate the soaring cost of Scotland's independent commissioners and ombudsmen.

The public spending watchdog has agreed to undertake an independent review of the office costs and other expenditure of the existing four commissioners — for information, appointments, standards and children — and of the public service ombudsman.

These posts will cost £6.4m next year, almost 10% of the Parliament's total revenue expenditure, the finance committee was told this week.

The request for an investigation was made by the Scottish Parliament's Corporate Body. It comes as the Parliament is about to spend a further £1m on a human rights commissioner.

The SPCB said: 'It would be beneficial to undertake an independent review of the opportunities for the commissioners and ombudsman to share services and the associated issue of office location.'

The SPCB voiced particular concern about the expenditure by the children and young people's commissioner, Professor Kathleen Marshall.

PFnov2005

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