External Review of Alcohol Focus Scotland

The review was part of a rolling programme of reviews of voluntary sector agencies that receive more than £100k / year in grant funding from the Scottish Government. The main aim was to assess whether the Scottish Government is receiving value for money in relation to the grant it provides to AFS.

10 Recommendations

10.1 The Scottish Government should set out, in general terms, its expectations of AFS in relation to the use of its core grant funding.

10.2 AFS should continue to develop its relationships with Alcohol and Drug Partnerships and local Licensing Forums, and involve a wider range of stakeholders in the development of future strategy. Face-to-face communication is likely to be most effective.

10.3 AFS's work with partner agencies should be put on a more strategic footing. The outcomes (not only the outputs) of joint work should be identified and agreed in advance with partner agencies.

10.4 When financial resources allow, AFS should consider splitting the management of human resources and finance in order that the developments needed in each can be properly addressed.

10.5 AFS should undertake benchmarking of the range and content of their staff policies and procedures with other national charitable organisations.

10.6 As part of its on-going internal review, AFS should develop a work force plan and a training and development plan. In particular, AFS senior management should monitor the extent to which staff at "officer" level are spending significant time on tasks below their level of seniority and competency so that future administrative support needs may be clearly identified.

10.7 Actions agreed at senior management meetings should be time-bound.

10.8 AFS should monitor the cost-effectiveness of current fund-raising arrangements (whereby significant senior management time is being spent on this activity). AFS should also consider whether it may be more cost-effective to contract in fund-raising expertise / support on a temporary basis, or to recruit an appropriately skilled individual onto the Executive Committee who could provide support for fund-raising on a voluntary basis.


Email: Iain MacAllister

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