Scotland's Environment Body 'More Accountable'
Measures to make Scotlands leading environment body more accountable have been effective, a report claims. A study by the public funding watchdog said the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) had made good progress in the way it managed and measured its performance.
Robert Black, the Auditor General for Scotland, had previously raised worries that the body could not fully account for all its environmental improvement work. However, a follow-up report by Audit Scotland said Sepa could now explain its work in terms of outcomes achieved and had met most of the environment targets set last year.
Sepa is a government body, established in 1996, to be responsible for environmental protection and improvement in Scotland.
Launching todays report, Black said, "I am pleased to be able to report that, following on from our earlier study, Sepa has made good progress in implementing all of our recommendations and is looking to further improve its performance management arrangements."
"It is important that Sepa continues to make progress in developing performance information systems for monitoring the achievement of its strategic targets and the priorities of ministers."
The report said Sepa has made good progress in implementing all recommendations made in the initial study two years ago but areas of concern remained.
The report said the environment body appeared to be behind schedule in achieving a targeted 30 percent cut in the number of poor or seriously polluted riverways by 2006.
Sepa also failed to improve the standard of Scotlands beaches, with compliance with EC bathing water standards falling from 88% in 1999 to 85% last year.
External auditors would continue to monitor the creation of a system enabling Sepa to demonstrate what it has done and boost accountability.