On Board: A Guide for Members of Management Advisory Boards
Public bodies play an essential role in performing certain functions on behalf of, or alongside Government. They allow the public sector to benefit from the skills, knowledge, expertise, experience, perspectives and commitment of the members who sit on their Boards and focus in depth on clear and specific functions and purposes.
Public bodies come in a variety of forms, depending on their functions and relationship with Scottish Ministers and/or the Scottish Parliament. Public bodies are set up for specific purposes and there is no set template of what a public body should look like. Annex A provides an overview of the classification of public bodies. This classification has important implications for accountability and reporting arrangements. Information on individual bodies and contact details are available from the National Public Bodies Directory.
The role of members of Management Advisory Boards is different to that of members of Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) and other bodies with statutory Boards. Management Advisory board members are appointed to assist the body deliver its functions, to provide strategic advice and support to the Chief Executive, and to offer constructive challenge. Such members are appointed to act in a purely advisory capacity and do not have any formal decision-making role.
This guidance is for all those appointed by the Chief Executive to be Members of Management Advisory Boards.
It is good practice to include external non-executive members on Management Advisory Boards of executive agencies. However, there may be some organisations for which external membership could be inappropriate, such as those where the Chief Executive believes the body's activities are effectively directed by Ministers. When going down this route the presence of external members on the body's Audit and Risk Committee provides appropriate independent scrutiny and challenge.
Separate guidance has been prepared for Members of Statutory Boards.
All public bodies should have in place supportive guidance which reflects the specific nature of their work and the extent to which separate arrangements may apply to the work of the Board.
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