Being accountable about our own perfomance
WICS is accountable through the Scottish Ministers to the Scottish Parliament and, ultimately, to water and sewerage customers in Scotland.
We achieve this accountability by:
- engaging and consulting with others, and
- being transparent about the progress we are making in delivering our commitments to customers and communities.
Our corporate plan sets out the outcomes we will deliver and how we will report our performance. It also includes a set of ‘key performance indicators’ (KPIs).
Every year our annual report, which is laid before Parliament, outlines the progress we have made.
As a public body, we also report performance against a wide range of other aspects of our work. This includes information about:
- equality and diversity
- our financial procedures and expenditure
- complaints against us.
Ensuring that we operate efficiently and effectively
As a public body we must operate efficiently (providing value for money) and effectively (having the right team in place, and making sure they are doing a good job).
In addition to setting challenging efficiency targets for Scottish Water, we also make sure that we continuously seek to drive down our own costs.
cost per person each year
We monitor our expenditure with care. In particular, we maintain robust financial authorisation, expenditure scrutiny and procurement processes to ensure maximum cost-effectiveness. We are also able to reduce our costs through the income we receive from our international work.
Our annual report sets out our financial performance, which we also report on a regular basis to the WICS board.
Reporting under the Public Services Reform Act
We are required under the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act to report on the steps we take to promote and increase sustainable growth and to improve efficiency, effectiveness and economy through the exercise of our functions. The Act also requires us to disclose specific financial information in relation to expenditure on public relations, overseas travel, hospitality and entertainment and external consultancy. We publish a report in this area on an annual basis.
Sustaining a high-performing team, with a focus on continuous improvement
Scotland’s water is something we should rightfully be proud of. It is essential to life and contributes to a thriving economy.
It is therefore critical that we attract and retain the best talent and that our employees have the skills and expertise they need. This involves an ongoing commitment to training and development of staff and clear succession planning at all levels in the organisation.
We are also taking steps to ensure that we promote equality and diversity and that we mainstream equalities into our day-to-day activities.
An element that we have also strengthened recently is our graduate recruitment. To promote WICS as a first-choice graduate employer, we have developed our offering so that it comprises a structured training and development programme, competitive renumeration, a package of wider benefits, and opportunities to work internationally.
Our records management commitment
At WICS, we recognise our duties under the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011 which requires us to prepare and implement a records management plan.
We regularly liaise with the National Records of Scotland to demonstrate and evidence that we take records management seriously and have appropriate arrangements in place to manage our records.
Not only does our records management plan ensure compliance with the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011, but also with data protection legislation, and the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.