This Bòrd na Gàidhlig Section 22 report is based on the Governance and Transparency Report, presented to the Audit and Risk Management Committee earlier this year. This is the most in-depth audit the organisation has ever undergone. It follows an extremely busy three years for Bòrd na Gàidhlig with many changes in structure and procedures taking place. The chief executive was charged with making these changes by the Board.
Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s board recognises the findings, which focused on its governance, leadership and management as well as its openness and transparency, were not all good news for the organisation.
The Bòrd na Gàidhlig board recognises the need to develop new ways of working and has embarked on a comprehensive programme of change. These changes across the whole organisation include:
- Reviewing the board’s remit and governance
- Reviewing Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s management structure
- Reviewing communication and collaboration with others, both internally and externally
- Developing the board and senior management’s skills and knowledge
- Creating a training plan for the board, senior management team and staff
- Developing a culture of greater openness and transparency
This programme is already underway, with more than 50% of the actions recommended being implemented within four months of receiving the report, and the remainder on target to be completed by the end of this financial year.
Mairi MacInnes, Bòrd na Gàidhlig Interim Chair, said: “Periods of change are difficult for any organisation, so Bòrd na Gàidhlig is not unique. This report has highlighted many of the challenges we have faced during the past three years, particularly in terms of the volume of work we have to deliver every day, our recruitment challenges and our limited resources. For the organisation to grow and achieve the commitments in our Corporate Plan 2018-23, we must continue to review all of our work and make changes where necessary. We remain committed to completing our programme of change, to help Gaelic flourish in Scotland and for Gaelic communities to continue to grow and thrive.
“All those involved in Bòrd na Gàidhlig recognise the need for and are thoroughly committed to finding a way forward so the recommendations made in the report are implemented and we are happy to explain the organisation and our decisions to the Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee if required.
“However, it is also important to highlight the significant and forward-thinking programme of work that we have delivered over recent years.
“Among our most notable achievements were gaining ministerial approval of the National Gaelic Language Plan 2018-23, which has been widely welcomed and received substantial cross-party support as well as acclaim from language planners in other minority languages.
“We maintained the annual budget in an increasingly challenging fiscal environment, as well as increasing both the use, learning and promotion of Gaelic in Scotland and also the number of public authorities actively involved in the Gaelic language.
“We developed new national initiatives, such as A Faster Rate of Progress, led by Depute First Minister and Education Secretary John Swinney to deliver a range of key commitments in the National Gaelic Language Plan.
“In 2017 we gained Ministerial approval of the Statutory Guidance for Gaelic Education through a collaborative working group led by Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
“Finally, as well as increasing demand for Gaelic medium education in Scotland, we developed new three-year funding agreements which will enable increased planning, development and efficiency for the main community organisations involved in using, learning and promoting Gaelic.”
“We all want Bòrd na Gàidhlig to be a success story – taking on board this report’s findings will help us work towards that goal.”