About us

 

Holding councils to account

The Accounts Commission is the public spending watchdog for local government. We hold councils in Scotland to account and help them improve.

We operate impartially and independently of councils and of the Scottish Government and we meet and report in public.

The Commission is responsible for coordinating and facilitating scrutiny in local government.

The Controller of Audit is a statutory post established alongside the Commission in 1975. The Controller reports to the Commission and highlights areas of concern.

Read more about the Commission's role, duties and powers (PDF | 47KB). - Opens in a new window

Follow us on Twitter @AccCommScot.

Latest news

Our work

our work

The Commission publishes financial audits on each council in Scotland and an annual overview report on local government, as well as individual reports about council services.

 View a full list of all Commission reports.

Our priorities

our priorities

  • Encourage effective reporting of performance
  • Reflect the interests of the citizen, service user and communities
  • Scrutinise the changing public services landscape
  • Promote good practice and innovation

Find out more about our priorities for the coming year in our strategy and annual action plan.

Some of our recent work

Self-directed support
 

Self directed supportOur report last year looked at the progress councils have made so far in providing self-directed support.

Local government: challenges and performance 2018

Local government challenges and performanceOur annual overview of local government performance reported that finding savings is now "increasingly critical" for councils dealing with ongoing reductions in funding.

History of the Commission
 

Commission timelineThe Commission's role has changed a lot since it was set up over 40 years ago. Find out about some of the challenges it has faced.

 

What we do

As well as auditing all local authorities in Scotland, the Commission looks at any issues arising from those audits and how well bodies are meeting Best Value duties. Find out more about each of the areas below:

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Local government overview

Reporting on local government's financial and overall performance

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Best Value reports
 

Reporting on councils' duty of continuous improvement

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Local government scrutiny

Working with other bodies to improve the scrutiny of councils

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How councils work reports

Providing practical support to help improvement in local government

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Housing benefit audit

Reporting on councils'  benefit services

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Annual audit reports

Auditing the accounts of all councils in Scotland

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Performance audit reports

Auditing the efficiency and effectiveness of services

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Statutory reports
 

Highlighting issues found in a council's annual audit

Our meetings

Commission members

Next meeting: 11 October

Previous meeting: 13 September

Chair Graham Sharp paid tribute to Sandy Cumming at his last meeting for his many contributions in seven years’ service as a Commission member. The Commission discussed and agreed the scope for the next Local Government Overview reports and agreed a draft performance audit on  progress towards Health and Social Care Integration due to be published in November this year.

Members also had briefings from Audit Scotland on professional scepticism in audit and the UK and Scottish response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy.  They also agreed an approach on ethical governance and approved a draft report for benefits performance audit which will be published and shared with councils.

Minutes of this meeting will be in the papers for our next meeting and available on our website from 5 October.

The Commission next meets on 11 October.

Interested in coming to our meetings?

Our meetings are open to the public. Find out how to attend.

 

Who we engage with

The public in general are our principal stakeholder but we engage with a wide range of others. Find out more about who we engage with and what our main activities are.

Engaging with stakeholders

Who we engage with:

  • Audit Scotland
  • Auditor General
  • Citizens
  • Parliament and Government: Government ministers, MSPs, Parliament committees
  • Local government: councils, joint boards, COSLA, SLGP, SOLACE, Improvement Service
  • Councils' community planning partners: public, private and third sectors, local communities
  • Other stakeholders: Equalities and Human Rights Commission, other UK audit and scrutiny bodies, professional bodies, trade unions
  • Press and broadcasting media
  • Scrutiny partners
  • Private sector audit firms