Inquiry into the Scottish Government’s Public Service Reform programme

Closed 1 May 2023

Opened 6 Mar 2023


The Finance and Public Administration Committee is looking at the Scottish Government’s public service reform programme, including its plans to keep pay bill costs at 2022-23 levels.

This consultation closed on 1 May 2023.

Read responses from public service organisations

Read responses from non-public service organisations and individuals

Thank you to the respondents for sharing their views with the Committee.

Consultation details

We wanted to hear from Scottish public bodies on their plans for public service reform in their sectors.

We also wanted to hear from other organisations and individuals with a view on how the reform programme is working in practice and how it is delivering effective and efficient services.

Key questions

For public bodies

  • Please tell us about your organisation type and sector
  • How many FTE (full time equivalent staff) does your organisation have?
  • To what extent is your organisation fully using its land/estates/offices and what scope is there for efficiencies in these areas?
  • What is your organisation’s total pay bill for 2023-24 (in £ millions), compared to 2022-23 levels?
  • What opportunities for further efficiencies has your organisation identified in these five priority areas for reform?
  • The Scottish Government has asked public bodies to produce their plans for delivering public sector reform by later this year, in order to inform the 2024-25 budget. How realistic is this timescale?
  • Please tell us if, and how your organisation’s plans seek to deliver on the Scottish Government’s three strategic priorities, set out below? Please also outline briefly any barriers to delivering these priorities.
    • Tackling child poverty
    • Transforming the economy to achieve a just transition to net zero
    • Ensuring sustainable services
  • Given the Government ambitions to reduce the public sector head count and total pay bill costs to 2022-23 levels, what level of reduction in FTE does this mean for your organisation, and how do you plan to achieve it and by when?
  • How, if at all, is your organisation working collaboratively with other public sector organisations to produce joint service reform plans for the public body landscape and use of resources (for submission to the Scottish Government later this year)?
  • What level of support and guidance has your organisation been given by the Scottish Government to deliver the efficiencies and plans necessary for your organisation, and how adequate has this been?
  • Can you describe the impact of your plans for reform on how your services will be delivered, in both the short and long term?
  • How do you propose to monitor and assess the impact of any reforms on the quality and delivery of your organisation’s services?

For other organisations and individuals

  • Please tell us how you think the Scottish Government’s public service reform programme is working in practice and how its aims of delivering effective and efficient public services are being met.
  • The Committee would also be interested to hear about any examples of good practice where public service reform programmes have worked well in other countries and any lessons that can be learned.


  • FPA