This bulletin is the first publication from the study into charging for council services. It is based on the results of a questionnaire survey of Scottish councils conducted in autumn 1997, complemented by visits to selected councils. The survey found that less than a quarter of councils currently have a corporate approach to charging for services, although a further 40% of councils are considering one.
Charging is a complex and often contentious area. The Accounts Commission wishes to assist councils to learn from the best practice of others, and the bulletin features a number of innovative case studies. It encourages councils to take into account their wider policy objectives, the views of users, users; ability to pay, the unit costs of the service, and the impact of charges on demand. It includes a checklist that councils can follow when considering and setting charges.