In the past week I have read three reports: one by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons into Dungavel House, another by The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges in Scotland into NHS failings, and most recently the Literature and Publishing Sector Review, compiled by the consultancy Nordicity, in association with Drew Wylie, for Creative Scotland.

The first two were models of clarity and concision, the third is blighted by technocratic terminology. Worse, given what it is representing, the language is bland and at times quite literally meaningless.

To write so boringly and opaquely about an art which the report rightly claims is vibrant and healthy is not merely an injustice, but makes one fear that its compilers lack any true understanding or identification with the literature it sets out to survey.

This is a pity, because the task the report undertakes is crucially important for the well-being of the literary community. The Review’s remit is broad, covering all aspects of literature, from writers and publishers to bookshops and book festivals, readers, libraries and schools.

Its conclusions, if accepted, will form the basis of Creative Scotland’s strategy towards the literary industry for the next decade. And although the sum of money at the literature department’s discretion is relatively small, the ways in which it is spent can significantly influence a career or a business.

It is not easy to summarise the contents of a document as wide-ranging and long as this. Its 120 pages are based on around 60 interviews and over 1000 replies to a questionnaire, the process guided by a steering group of experts and occasional group meetings with representatives from all aspects of literary life.

As such, it can claim to be comprehensive. Whether it is persuasive is another matter. Having waded through it, one suspects that only a handful of its 38 recommendations will be seriously debated, and of these even fewer acted upon.

Some are statements of the obvious, some are commonsensical, and some lie in the realms of fantasy. The same can probably be said of most such reports, but reading this, one would think that funds were limitless, given the number of new ventures and bodies it proposes.

There have been many reports into literature in the past few years – too many, you might say. This one “evolves from” that by the Literature Forum (now renamed the Literature Alliance) in 2009. Another, of which I was chair, appeared in 2010.

In reading Nordicity’s guide, I could not help but have sympathy for the enormity of their task, a feeling swiftly followed by astonishment that theirs has cost taxpayers £40,000, while ours came free. It was also a good read, though more than a few choked on their toast and marmalade at its often critical tone, one thing Nordicity can never be accused of.

They write that “The themes of connection, coordination and collaboration leave the most lasting impression of what this Review is attempting to communicate.”

Much of this is self-evident, as when urging literature organisations to work together to improve efficiency and economy. When addressing the needs of writers, it urges support for them at every stage of their careers, as if this were novel. Indeed, several of its suggestions are familiar, among them the benefit of putting more Scottish books into classrooms, widening access to literature, and enlisting the support of libraries for writers’ work.

They also advocate getting institutions such as VisitScotland, the National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland behind a strategy that would encourage their shops to stock a better range of Scottish titles. Such is the stuff of which dreams are made.

The raft of ideas, however, is more like a child’s wishlist for Santa Claus than one constrained by budgets or realism. One of the most passionate and detailed sections deals with the need to enhance literature’s international reputation.

One would not argue with that, even if it does not seem to be a pressing priority. As one of its flagship statements, however, it comes with bells and whistles, among them the call for a separate body to act as the front for improved international status.

It also requests yet another organisation to act as an advocate for literature across a much wider realm than at present, such as in areas of justice, education and health. The concept is good, but the expectation of funds to back a separate organisation is surely fanciful. Just how many literature organisations does this small country need?

Yet, despite the surfeit of literary expertise already being funded, the need for greater leadership across the sector is a refrain, one such being required to coordinate the work of our 50-odd book festivals. I seem to recall just such a post being created some years ago.

A proposal for soft loans to publishers seems reasonable and helpful, as does improving the transparency of funding available to them and others, such as foreign publishers seeking help with the costs of translation. Less sensible is the idea that publishers should be far more receptive to self-published authors.

There is no mention of where the time, money or inclination to read these works would come from. Oddly, given the enormity of that task, no separate body to undertake this mammoth task has been mooted.

Another underwhelming notion is encouraging booksellers to liaise with libraries, education authorities and suchlike to broaden the reach of Scottish literature.

This feels not just half-baked but presumptuous. Indeed, Nordicity appears often not to understand the imperatives behind commercial organisations, imposing a philanthropic or political agenda on those whose first duty is financial viability.

Any such liaisons must be to their economic benefit, and it is hard to see what advantages bookshops would reap, in the short term at least, from these proposals.

Which brings us to the short but vexatious section on the decline of reviewing outlets: “It is recommended that more literary reviews and criticism should be supported, both in traditional and online formats, including being vocal with traditional print media; such support would also include the continuing support of literary journals, training for literary criticism, and negotiating better literature coverage with local and national media.”

In describing the decline of such pages in Scottish print media there is scant appreciation that three of the titles currently running books coverage – Scotland on Sunday, the Sunday Herald and The National – did not exist in the dim and golden past to which Nordicity refers, and one has sprung up only in the last nine months.

They are correct in saying that space devoted to books in newspapers has shrunk of late, but they might be surprised if they looked at The Scotsman or The Herald thirty years ago and saw the single broadsheet review page on offer, by comparison with which today’s coverage could be described as generous.

One thing the questionnaire appears not to have asked, however, is whether those who bemoan the lack of review coverage in newspapers buy a paper daily, or if book festivals, bookshops, publishers and related organisations ever take advertising.

Above all, though, what this section reflects is the sense one gets from the report as a whole, namely that it is an exercise in the platitudinous and in received wisdom or special pleading, rather than rooted in profound understanding of the sector.

This is especially evident in its lack of discussion about literary quality, a concept rarely mentioned. It is as if the industry’s success is based on the volume of what they refer to as “product” and demand, not on any objective standard of worth.

Yet surely the principle of using public money to support literature must be accompanied by a filter of rigorous critical assessment of a writer’s, publisher’s or organisation’s calibre. Presumably that is still the case at Creative Scotland. If so one would never know it from this report.