Plans to boost early learning and childcare (ELC) hours have made steady progress but risks around buildings and staffing remain, say public sector watchdogs. The Scottish Government and...
The organisation responsible for planning health and social care services in Fife is facing significant and ongoing financial problems, with recurring overspends. The Accounts Commission,...
About us and 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.
Our strategy and annual action plan outlines our priorities for the coming year. Read more about our strategy.
Find out more about what we do in our short video.
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Some of our recent work
Local government financial overview 2018/19
Our annual overview found that most of Scotland's councils are increasingly relying on money from reserves to keep up with demand for services and balance their budgets.
North Lanarkshire Best Value
We reported that the council has ambitious plans for developing the area and improving services, and it now needs to work with partners to better involve and engage with residents and staff to achieve these.
Councils' use of arm's-length organisations
Our report looked at how councils are using arm's-length external organisations in Scotland and the impact they are making.
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:
Reporting on local government's financial and overall performance
Reporting on councils' duty of continuous improvement
Working with other bodies to improve the scrutiny of councils
Providing practical support to help improvement in local government
Reporting on councils' benefit services
Auditing the accounts of all councils in Scotland
Previous meeting: 12 December
It was the last Accounts Commission meeting of 2019.
Commission members considered a briefing on preparing for withdrawal from the European Union. This briefing considers evidence and intelligence from a wide range of Annual Audit Reports. Whilst EU withdrawal preparedness is at a reasonable level, preparing for this has diverted attention away from other areas, whilst compounding and intensifying existing pressures. The briefing is due to be published on the Audit Scotland website in December.
Other items under discussion include:
- a forward look to the Accounts Commission’s Spring 2020 Local Government Overview – the Commission approved the emerging messages for this report
- the Commission approved a draft follow up report on Early learning and childcare, due to be published in early 2020
- a report on auditing Best Value in Integration Joint Boards
- and discussed and noted an important report on the audit fees strategy
The Commission also discussed a report on Best Value statutory guidance. This is an important milestone and the Commission agreed to endorse the Scottish Government’s guidance.
The next meeting of the Accounts Commission takes place on 9 January 2020.
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.
Who we engage with:
- Audit Scotland
- Auditor General
- 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