Bòrd na Gàidhlig has issued a formal response to a watchdog audit report, which criticised its leadership and lack of transparency in decision-making last week.

The report from the Auditor General (Audit Scotland), published on Friday (December 13th) included wide-ranging recommendations for improvement.

It said: “Our audit has identified a number of significant issues which require urgent action by the Board, management and the Scottish Government Sponsor Division (‘the Sponsor Division’). These were considered and accepted by the Committee in June 2019. A detailed improvement plan has been agreed to move this forward.

“This covers areas such as the vision of BnaG; staff engagement; collaboration, clarity and consistency in leadership; training and development; change management; openness and transparency; the governance framework; self-assessment procedures; roles and responsibilities of the Board, SMT and Sponsor Division; management of risk and maintaining high standards of conduct and behaviour.”

In their official response to the report, the Bòrd said: “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.

“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, management structure and 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 and developing a culture of greater openness and transparency.”

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.

“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.”

The full report is available at https://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/report/bòrd-na-gàidhlig-annual-audit-report-201819