Scottish auditors to probe NPD

Audit Scotland is to review the country’s non-profit distributing (NPD) programme in 2018, it has been confirmed.

The auditors will look at how successful the NPD programme has been in providing value for money and efficiency compared to both traditional procurement and Westminster’s PFI and PF2 models.

However, it remains to be seen whether there will be any future stand-alone NPD projects in the pipeline by 2018, as the Scottish Futures Trust continues to try to resolve the issues that have seen the model classed as on the government’s balance sheet by Eurostat.

That decision has left the Scottish government having to bring large amounts of spending onto its books, and resulted in a number of planned NPD schemes being procured as government-funded projects.

Meanwhile, Scottish economy minister Keith Brown has confirmed that the Balmedie to Tipperty section of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) NPD scheme has fallen behind schedule. The project was due to be open in spring 2017, but contractors have told the government it will now be next winter because key earthworks have yet to be completed.