Good Governance in the Scottish Government
Governance is the over-arching structure and strategy that provides accountability and direction, and that influences our behaviours and cultures.
Governance impacts everyone in their day-to-day jobs, whether we work as part of a team, purchase goods or services, manage people, or control budgets.
This is not just about what we do but how we do it, creating an environment where governance enables positive change and supports strategic approaches to our outcomes.
Governance is about raising awareness and sharing information; taking responsibility and providing assurance to stakeholders; and improving our approaches, learning lessons for the future.
Organisational Control Framework
Programme for Government and Business Strategy, Civil Service Code, Management Information, Budget and budgetary control, Project and Programme Management, Directorate planning process, Scottish Procurement Policy, Risk Management, Counter Fraud Policy, Information Management, Scottish Public Finance Manual. Delivery Essentials: policies, procedures, codes of conduct, Public Sector Internal Audit Standards etc.
Good governance comprises six core principles, each with its supporting values:
- Leadership: we focus on the Government’s purpose to provide a clear vision and strategic direction to secure an effective and efficient approach based on outcomes.
Accountability: we comply with legislation,
follow Parliamentary protocols
and ensure the economic, efficient and effective use of all related resources.
Integrity: we promote
the Civil Service Code and Values and demonstrate that through our behaviours.
- Effectiveness: we maximise the skills and experience of staff; promote equality; challenge approaches and scrutinise performance.
- Transparency: we take informed and open, evidenced-based decisions while managing risk.
Sustainability: we develop our capacity and the
capability to take a long-term approach to
our use of resources
Accountable Officers have a responsibility for ensuring good governance and are personally answerable to the Scottish Parliament for the application of public funds.
We all have a part to play in supporting this role.
- Answer to the Scottish Parliament for the application of public funds.
- Give evidence before the Public Audit Committee about the expenditure and performance of respective areas of responsibility.
- Ensure the
propriety and regularity of the finances under
their control – complying with relevant legislation and
guidance issued by Ministers e.g.
the Scottish Public
- Secure value for money: the economic, efficient and effective use of all resources.
- Empower staff through effective management systems and provide support for undertaking designated roles.
- Ensure risks and opportunities are identified, assessed and managed.
- Ensure sponsored bodies have robust controls and reporting processes.
- Provide effective challenge and support on performance with a focus on continuous improvement
- Encourage an environment that values staff and supports innovation
- Assess the quality of risk management arrangements
- Proactively support the learning and sharing of risks and opportunities with peers across organisational boundaries
Scrutinise to ensure effective strategic and
day-to-day financial planning and management
- Challenge and support the work of internal and external audit
- Review relevant performance reports, certificates of assurance and other assurance resources to ensure independent scrutiny of processes.
- Provide leadership and management oversight in delivering the Programme for Government in line with the Scottish Government’s Business Strategy.
effective use and stewardship of public
- Seek assurances on the progress of organisational priorities.
- Focus on outcomes through
an assets based approach.
- Develop organisational capability, wellbeing and resilience.
- Review performance
and improve systems
- Secure the appropriate management of risk
the organisation and
- Ensure the delivery of effective Project and Programme Management arrangements.
Support Accountable Officers in the delivery of
their statutory responsibilities in the use
of public funds.
- Contribute to the Scottish Government’s purpose by engaging with directorate planning processes to support the Business Strategy.
- Act with integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality.
- Adhere to relevant professional codes of conduct.
- Contribute positively
to a culture where all
staff are valued and
- Champion finding new and better ways to achieve outcomes, engaging with corporate initiatives.
- Apply Project and Programme Management principles to relevant work.
- Report any wrongdoing in line with our whistle-blowing policy.