The Advisory Audit Board oversees the management of risk and audit issues, and reports to the Ombudsman. Committee responsibilities are set out below.

Financial reporting

Monitoring the integrity of the SPSO’s financial statements, including its annual and interim reports and any other formal announcement relating to its financial performance, reviewing significant financial reporting issues and judgements which they contain. Reviewing summary financial statements and any financial information contained in certain other documents, such as budget submissions.

Internal controls, performance and risk management systems

Reviewing the effectiveness of the SPSO’s internal financial controls, other internal controls, performance management, and risk management systems.


Reviewing the SPSO's arrangements for its employees to raise concerns, in confidence, about possible wrongdoing in financial reporting or other matters. Ensuring that these arrangements allow proportionate and independent investigation of such matters and appropriate follow up action. 

Internal and external audit


Advise the Ombudsman in relation to: engaging suitable external auditors; reviewing and assessing internal audit requirements and approving annual internal audit work plan; reviewing all reports from those auditors; reviewing and monitoring the senior management team's responsiveness to the findings and recommendations of the auditor.


Oversee the relationship with the external auditor; meet regularly with the external auditor, including before and after the audit; meet the external auditor at least once a year, without members of the senior management team present, to discuss their remit and any issues arising from the audit; review and approve the annual audit plan and ensure it is consistent with the scope of the audit engagement; review the findings of the audit with the external auditor.

Jean Couper CBE

Jean Couper CBE has extensive governance experience and has held a number of senior non-executive roles in public, private and third sector organisations including as a Member and Chairman of the Scottish Legal Aid Board, Chairman of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, Member of the Accounts Commission Scotland, Director of Ombudsman Services Ltd and Chair of Aberlour Child Care Trust.

She is a Director of Catalyst Consulting and has over 30 years’ experience of advising public authorities and companies on matters of governance, organisation structure, strategy and performance. She is Chair of the Advisory Audit Board of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body and is Chair and Trustee of several charities. In June 2006 she was awarded a CBE for services to the administration of justice.

Jean Couper Declaration of Interests 2019 (PDF, 170KB)

Dr Jim McCormick

Dr Jim McCormick is Associate Director Scotland to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a member of the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) and co-founder of research partnership McCormick-McDowell.

He is on Scottish Business in the Community’s Board and The Stroke Association’s Scotland Committee, and has advised government, the voluntary sector and independent funders.

Previously he was Director of the independent think-tank the Scottish Council Foundation (SCF) and a Research Associate with the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) in London. His main work interests include tackling poverty, the changing jobs market and wellbeing in later life.

Jim McCormick Declaration of Interests 2018 (PDF, 54KB)

David Watt

David Watt is an experienced non-executive director/trustee, deploying skills in financial reporting, strategic and performance development at senior level.  He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

David spent 36 years in professional practice with KPMG, leading financial reporting and assurance services to publicly-funded and non-for-profit organisations in central and local government, housing, further and higher education and the NHS.  Current appointments include membership of the trustee boards of the Church of Scotland and Quarriers, board membership of Glasgow Clyde College, non-executive directorship of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, and independent membership of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Advisory Audit Board and the audit and risk committee of the University of Glasgow.  Completed appointments include Airdrie Savings Bank and Scottish Canals.  David is also a member of the Public Sector Panel of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.

David Watt Declaration of Interests 2019 (PDF, 221KB)


Updated: July 18, 2019