Why does Audit Scotland tend to accuse when the UK National Audit Office tends to praise?

Above the UK National Audit Office home page. Below Audit Scotland:

The differences in messaging are sharp.

The UK NAO is all progress, support (three times) and recovery.

Audit Scotland is all government needs to improve, challenges and risks.

Two quite different cultures revealing, in Audit Scotland, an underlying culture of opposition to the SNP in government.


5 thoughts on “Why does Audit Scotland tend to accuse when the UK National Audit Office tends to praise?

  1. For a couple of years now I’ve thought the style of Audit Scotland report writing is like that of a consultancy subjectively commenting on a client’s strategy and it’s implementation rather than reporting an objective ‘audit’. A consultancy wants to fill pages and deliver value. The NAO reports are much dryer, more fact/statistics based.

    This is but one example from the new Audit Scotland report on the NHS. It points ‘out the need for transparency over Covid-19 spending, but also the difficulty in defining what is Covid-19 spending in our Scotland’s financial response to Covid-19 report. Moving forward, the Scottish Government’s health and social care directorate will not monitor Covid-19 related costs separately, particularly as there is no longer a separate Covid-19 funding stream.’

    What is the author actually wanting the reader to take from this?

    Of course with more subjectivity, with looser and wordier writing comes more opportunities for the cherry picking of juicy quotes for media and opposition parties’ use. Is it the dryness of NAO reports that explains why they are rarely headline news despite what they reveal about Westminster government?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree that they ARE two different cultures with two different political motivations in play, but would I prefer the false gloss of England’s “improving” NHS from the UK National Audit Office whilst it’s verging on collapse, over the more brutal analysis by Audit Scotland ? I think not.

    On your “BBC Scotland finds something bad to say at last about NHS Scotland after a difficult time for them” article, I’d commented on the the Audit Scotland report, and what BBC Scotland cherry-picked for amplification, still lurking in 3rd spot on the Scotland/Politics page as “Scottish NHS jobs targets unlikely to be met, says Audit Scotland”.

    This has now been reinforced by a Brian Fraser “How did NHS Scotland end up in a critical condition?” article on both pages.

    Now you would think that as “Business and Economy Editor, Scotland” Brian would have leapt at the 723 million shortfall by HMG for Covid in 2022/23, or the cost of 93% rise in cost of bank and agency nursing staff since 2017, but not a bit of it.

    Whatever the political slant in how Audit Scotland report, it as nothing compared to the political slant of the BBC Scotland’s “version”.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply to stewartb Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.