Government spending is published for the first time

money Details of spending have been released for the first time

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Details of Scottish government spending on items over £25,000 have been released for the first time.

The report, which covers April 2010, itemised 1,367 transactions totalling £2.6bn.

The publication revealed that £825m of public money was given as cash advances to Scotland's NHS boards in April, as well as £800m in grants to local authorities.

Revealing the figures is part of moves to increase government accountability.

The biggest single item of expenditure was £200m to Greater Glasgow Health Board.

£180m went to the Scottish Funding Council.

The payments account for about 70% of all the expenditure in the publication, but they do not take account of a range of other expenditure on health, education and other services itemised such as the pandemic flu, grants to police authorities and tuition fees.

'Efficiency savings'

The report also revealed that efficiency savings have already been made to public expenditure including £839m efficiency saving in 2008/09 - £300m over the target.

There was a 25% reduction in the number of national devolved bodies saving £123m up to 2013 and £38m per year every year after that.

Start Quote

For the first time, this will give the people of Scotland monthly updates which let them see in detail how we are investing their money in frontline services and economic growth”

End Quote John Swinney MSP Finance secretary

The information revealed that there was more than £1m reduction in the Scottish government travel costs from £5.9m in 2008/09 to £4.9m in 2009/10 and the cost of air travel fell by 24%.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said: "We are the first administration in the UK to take this major step forward for open and accountable government.

"The Scottish Government is leading the way with the publication of this detailed information setting out our expenditure.

"For the first time, this will give the people of Scotland monthly updates which let them see in detail how we are investing their money in frontline services and economic growth.

"This has been a valuable exercise that has already led to a number of innovative actions.

"We have made significant reductions such as reducing the costs of central marketing by half, and the Scottish government travel budget by almost a fifth. And there will shortly be a low carbon shuttle bus service for staff between government buildings in Edinburgh."

Mr Swinney said the government would, on a monthly basis, publish online details of all items of expenditure above £25,000.

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