On Board: a guide for members of statutory boards

Guidance for all those appointed under statute to be members of the boards of public bodies in Scotland.

Key Messages

  • The Board satisfies itself that the public body has proper processes, systems and controls in place and receives assurances from the Chief Executive that the Scottish Public Finance Manual is being complied with. The Board also seeks assurance that systems are in place to provide accurate and timely information to the Scottish Government as part of the management of the Scottish Budget.
  • The Board receives regular financial reports showing expenditure against planned budgets and progress towards financial targets and efficiency savings.
  • The Board scrutinises financial and corporate plans and provides challenge on performance against these plans and any underlying assumptions.
  • The Board satisfies itself that the public body has systems in place to secure Best Value in the performance of its functions.
  • The Board satisfies itself that systems are in place for risk management and internal control extending from front-line services through to the Board.
  • Where an organisation is responsible for expenditure, an Audit Committee must be established to advise the Board on internal control (including corporate governance) and audit matters.
  • The Board is responsible for approving the annual accounts;
  • The Board of a sponsored body is responsible for ensuring the Minister is provided with the annual report and accounts to be laid before the Scottish Parliament. In the case of a Non-Ministerial body, the Board is responsible for ensuring the annual report and accounts are laid before Parliament. The Chief Executive as the Accountable Officer of the public body is responsible for signing the accounts and ultimately responsible to the Scottish Parliament for their actions.
  • On completion of the external audit of the annual accounts, the appointed auditor sends a copy of the accounts and the audit opinion to the Auditor General, who may add a report of their own, before the accounts and reports are laid before the Parliament.
  • The Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee uses reports of the Auditor General as the basis for conducting enquiries.



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