Statements on expenditure

Sustainable Economic Growth

In 2015/16 the Agency continued to deliver functions designed to ensure access to fair and just processes of debt relief and debt management for the people of Scotland, which take account of the rights and interests of those involved.

Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) is committed to promoting and increasing sustainable economic growth through the exercise of its functions in line with the Scottish Government’s Economic Strategy. The Agency helps to contribute to promoting and increasing sustainable economic growth through its activities. Key points to note in respect of AiB’s efforts to increase sustainable economic growth include:

  • the purpose of bankruptcy is to allow people a fresh start free of debt - that includes sole traders and partnerships
  • AiB’s key role in the Government's economic strategy is to provide a supportive business environment, contributing to the growth of the Scottish economy
  • AiB supports an infrastructure and framework of borrowing and lending in the economy and ensures an effective system for creditors to recover their debts
  • the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) is designed to facilitate debt recovery and maximise returns to creditors

Efficiency, effectiveness and economy

Efficient government

In 2004, the Scottish Government began developing a programme to improve efficiency in the public sector. A target of increasing efficiency savings by 2% for each year of the 2007 Spending Review was applied to portfolios across the Scottish Government. Following on from this, the Scottish Government set targets of 3% savings which were to be achieved each year from 2011/12 to 2015/16.

AiB continues to work to this target and the total efficiency savings for the last two years are shown below:

 

Saving

2015-16

£’000

2014-15

£’000

Target

405

450

Savings

1,444

1,775

 

 

 

DEL gross expenditure budget

13,500

15,000

Savings as a % of expenditure budget

11%

12%

The largest portion of savings was generated through the Agency’s contract for insolvency services. Savings of £684k were generated in 2015/16 on payments made to insolvency providers by securing a reduced fixed price for case administration through the procurement process.

A further £587k efficiency savings were achieved through the use of Scottish Government collaborative contracts. The collaborative contracts utilised include those for the provision of IT development and equipment, advertising services, printing, postage and utilities.

Significant savings were also made through the Agency’s legal services contract which introduced reduced hourly rates for time in line work and fixed fees for certain categories of work. Furthermore as part of this contract AiB employed a legal secondee who was supplied at a reduced rate.

Shared services

AiB is committed to taking advantage of shared service opportunities wherever these opportunities can demonstrate benefits to our customers and the public purse.

In 2015/16 the Agency made use of the Scottish Government contract for facilities management (MITIE). We also utilised the Scottish Government’s Land & Property Advice division for property related queries and relied on the Scottish Government for our building security arrangements.

The Agency made use of the Scottish Government Legal Directorate for advice and the Scottish Government framework for legal work in relation to the management of insolvency cases.

The Agency also utilised the expertise of the Scottish Government Shared Services Procurement team who, in 2015/16, supported the Agency through the implementation of a new legal services contract.

As an Executive Agency we make use of many Scottish Government systems. We use the Scottish Government Accounting System (SEAS) to record financial transactions, we also use the Scottish Government EASEbuy system for some procurement activity. Some finance support is also provided by the Scottish Government Treasury and Banking team, for payments and banking of income, and Central Accountancy Services provide support for financial statements consolidation work. All human resource activity, including payroll, individual casework, grievances, HR policy and advice, contract management and recruitment for specific roles utilises the Scottish Government systems.

The Agency also has a strategic partnership with the Scottish Government’s Information Services and Information Systems division (ISIS) which delivers SCOTS & network services, telephony and applications support.

Procurement and contract management

Accountant in Bankruptcy has a permanent Procurement Manager who is fully qualified with the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.  In 2015/16 there were a further two procurement admin support posts and, as mentioned above, AiB have drawn upon the knowledge of the SG Shared Service Procurement team.

Our procurement policy and purchasing procedures for staff are communicated through our internal and external websites, ensuring up to date contract information is available for interested parties.

A Contract Operations team within the Agency continued to manage the Insolvency Services contracted suppliers in 2015/16, ensuring up to date management information was being collated to allow review of performance. This management information continues to be used for commodity and supplier analysis in tendering exercises. Other contracts were managed either by specialist staff throughout the Agency (such as IT and Estates Management) or through the AiB Procurement team.

2016/17 will see the introduction of a new central procurement and contract management team which will manage all contracts used by the Agency and be a point for escalation or feedback on supplier performance.

 
 
Accountant in Bankruptcy is required to publish statements on its expenditure under the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act. This information includes statements on expenditure and breakdown of types of expenditure by quarter.