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Scottish Government must change funding delivery

Wednesday July 27th, 2011

New reports state that Commission on the Future Delivery of Public Services can succeed if the Scottish Government radically changes the way funds are distributed.

CIPFA’s Scottish policy and technical manager, Don Peebles said that means dumping the traditional sectoral approach to allocation and replacing it with a funding mechanism designed around people-centred services.

This goes beyond the call by the commission, for a review of funding to improve flexibility, coupled with stronger local partnership planning and a revamped concordat between central and local government.

Peebles acknowledged that the funding reform was a fundamental change but insisted it was essential.

The Christie Commission report floated several alternative funding mechanisms, such as giving incentives to providers to improve joined-up working.

It urges ministers to explore such options but does not endorse any of them, nor does it advocate a break with sector-based allocation.

CIPFA’s preference was set out in its Call to the new Scottish Government published in April during the Holyrood election campaign. It wants a holistic allocation system that budgets on the basis of locally assessed outcomes, integrated planning and collaborative delivery.

The Christie report, which was published in June, won broad support in Scotland for the menu of integrated and person-centred services, preventative spending, community involvement and deprivation targeting. The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities endorsed the package in full without waiting for a ministerial response.

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