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

Early learning and childcare

Early learning and childcareOur animation reported on some of the key facts from our recent report on early learning and childcare.

Dundee City Council

Dundee City CouncilWe reported that a £1 million fraud perpetrated at Dundee City Council was the result of failures in fundamental controls within the council’s financial systems.

Inverclyde Council Best Value

Inverclyde councilLast year we found that Inverclyde Council had made significant improvements and needs to continue to build on those strengths for the future.

 

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:

calendar

Local government overview

Reporting on local government's financial and overall performance

calendar

Best Value reports
 

Reporting on councils' duty of continuous improvement

calendar

Local government scrutiny

Working with other bodies to improve the scrutiny of councils

calendar

How councils work reports

Providing practical support to help improvement in local government

calendar

Housing benefit audit

Reporting on councils'  benefit services

calendar

Annual audit reports

Auditing the accounts of all councils in Scotland

calendar

Performance audit reports

Auditing the efficiency and effectiveness of services

calendar

Statutory reports
 

Highlighting issues found in a council's annual audit

Our meetings

Commission members

Next meeting: 7 June

Previous meeting: 12 April

At this month’s meeting Accounts Commission members were joined by representatives from the Local Government Benchmarking Framework (LGBF) Board and the Improvement Service, to discuss the recently published LGBF National Benchmarking Overview Report 2016/17. The report provides detailed comparative information on how councils are performing.
 
The Commission considered a report on councils’ use of arm’s-length external organisations (ALEOs) to deliver services, due to be published in May. Members also discussed options for the Commission’s next report in its How Councils Work series, to be published later in 2018/19.
 
Members also noted the publication of National Scrutiny Plan for local government 2018/19, which summarises planned strategic scrutiny work from April 2018 to March 2019 in each of Scotland’s 32 councils.
 
The Commission next meets on 10 May.

Interested in coming to our meetings?

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