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Scottish Budget Spending Review 2007



The preceding chapters set out the Scottish Government's ambitious agenda to make Scotland a more successful country. This chapter sets out the new national performance framework, fully integrated into the Spending Review, which will underpin delivery against the government's agenda.

This framework is designed to be clear, logical and easy to understand. It replaces a proliferation of competing priorities, set by the previous administration, providing a unified vision and quantifiable benchmarks against which future progress can be assessed. In developing the national performance framework we have drawn on the successful outcomes-based model of the Commonwealth of Virginia, USA. We believe it will allow us more clearly and openly to demonstrate our performance as a government and sharpen the focus of all those responsible for public services on the delivery of Scotland's priorities.

Each part of the performance framework, as Figure 8.01 shows, is directed towards, and contributes to, a single overarching Purpose.

Our Purpose

To focus government and public services on creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing economic sustainable growth

Figure 8.01: National performance framework

Figure 8.01: National performance framework

As part of the Government Economic Strategy, we have identified a set of high level Purpose targets that include specific benchmarks for sustainable economic growth and to ensure that growth is shared by all of Scotland. There is no doubt that if we are to match the economic performance of the UK as a whole, and the Arc of Prosperity countries that surround us, we will need to focus on:

• improving our productivity and competitiveness;

• increasing our labour market participation; and

• stimulating population growth.

Together, these targets help define the characteristics of the economic growth that we want to see - a growth that is sustainable, cohesive and which builds solidarity in all of Scotland's regions. They also set a whole new level of ambition for economic performance, not only over the lifetime of this term of the Parliament, but for the long term.

Five Strategic Objectives support delivery of the Purpose and, in turn, these are supported by 15 national outcomes which describe in more detail what the government wants to achieve over a ten year period. Progress on these outcomes will be measured through 45 national indicators and targets. We acknowledge the need for government to take a more strategic approach to target setting. We have, therefore, set targets where we judge that it will be an incentive to delivery. Elsewhere, we have established the direction of travel in which we expect indicators to move in the Spending Review period.

Purpose Targets



Economic Growth ( GDP)

  • To raise the GDP growth rate to the UK level by 2011
  • To match the growth rate of small independent EU countries by 2017


  • To rank in the top quartile for productivity amongst our key trading partners in the OECD by 2017


  • To maintain our position on labour market participation as the top performing country in the UK and to close the gap with the top five OECD economies by 2017


  • To match average European ( EU15) population growth over the period from 2007 to 2017, supported by increased healthy life expectancy in Scotland over this period


  • To increase overall income and the proportion of income earned by the three lowest income deciles as a group by 2017


  • To narrow the gap in participation between Scotland's best and worst performing regions by 2017


  • To reduce emissions over the period to 2011
  • To reduce emissions by 80 per cent by 2050


We are moving the whole of government to an outcomes-focused approach to performance. This means that we will be judged - as we should be - on the results that we achieve; results which reflect real and meaningful improvements in public services and quality of life for people in Scotland.

Our approach focuses government on the key long term challenges for Scotland and will enable, and encourage, more effective partnership working right across the public sector and with stakeholders. The whole of the public sector will, for the first time, be expected to contribute to one overarching Purpose and all performance management systems will therefore be aligned to a single, clear and consistent set of priorities.

The transition to an outcomes-based approach with delivery partners, including local government, will leave the detailed management of services to those who can best understand and tailor their resources and activities in line with local priorities. The Scottish Government will concentrate on providing leadership and direction, and focus on strategic priorities. The proposed approach for Single Outcome Agreements with local government is covered in more detail in chapter 17.

National Performance Framework graphic

National Performance Framework graphic