Audit Scotland has today, Wednesday 13th of October, published a Section 22 Report in addition to a Deloitte audit report of the Crofting Commission.
Commenting today, Malcolm Mathieson, Convenor of the Crofting Commission said:
“As an organisation we recognise that the leadership and governance did not meet the standards expected of a public body, whilst it is important to recognise the unprecedented pressures and exceptional circumstances that we found ourselves in during the initial phases of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are confident that we have improved and transformed the organisation to ensure we meet the challenges of the future.”
“The Board are clear in their support of the previous Convenor and whilst disappointed, respect his decision to resign as Convenor and Commissioner from the East Highlands in July. Substantial progress has been made since the completion of the audit report; in particular, the clarification of roles and remits within the Commission have been defined and accepted by all. The Board is enthusiastic about the new development function within the Commission and the upcoming digitalisation of many of our functions which will enable us as a Commission to be more effective and efficient.”
Bill Barron, Chief Executive of the Crofting Commission, added:
“Both the Deloitte report and the Audit Scotland report identified areas in our leadership and governance arrangements as well as our business planning that required us to reassess, reflect and formulate an action plan which would address the matters in hand.”
“Since the Commission were made aware of the concerns from the auditors we have worked exceptionally hard to make tangible and positive changes. We have developed an action plan and have, in just a few months, addressed over half of the points raised and have made good progress on others.”
“The reports do also highlight areas of our operation where we are exceeding the standards which are expected of us; it is clear that we are providing a fair and effective service to the crofting system and to crofters within our existing resources. I would like to thank all of our staff and Commissioners for continuing to provide this service despite the pressures that the pandemic burdened us with.”