About us

The Accounts Commission holds councils and other local government bodies in Scotland to account and helps them improve by reporting to the public on their performance.

We operate impartially and independently of councils and of the Scottish Government.

Read our Strategy 2021-26 which sets out our aims, the priorities we will use in fulfilling these aims, and the principles and approaches used to shape our reporting.

Read our latest newsletter. This newsletter updates councillors on our recent work.

See our joint work programme with the Auditor General for Scotland to find out what we are planning to report on this year.

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Our next meeting

Commission members

Our next meeting takes place on 9 February 2023.


Our last meeting

  Download transcript of Sharon O’Connor's video - RTF 44Kb

Commission member Sharon O'Connor shares a summary of our September 2022 meeting, where we discussed our report on the performance of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council). We also agreed the scope of our two annual review publications on Scotland's councils' finances and performance, which will be published in 2023.

All meetings are recorded and can be obtained on request from info@audit-scotland.gov.uk.

The Commission has adopted the following principles to help it guide its work and fulfil its responsibilities during the Covid-19 emergency.

  • The Commission recognises the significant pressures under which local government finds itself as a result of the current Covid-19 emergency.
  • The Commission is of the firm view that the principles of sound financial management, good governance, public accountability and transparency are vital in this emergency situation, although how these are delivered and achieved are likely to be different.
  • The Commission therefore expects audit quality to be maintained in accordance with international standards and the Code of Audit Practice.
  • The Commission is mindful of both the capacity of local authorities to prepare good-quality financial reports, and the auditors they appoint to deliver high-quality audit, when considering timescales for 2019/20.

Latest news

New Controller of Audit starts

Helena Gray joins us today as the new Controller of Audit, leading on the reporting of issues from the audits of local government in Scotland to the Accounts Commission.    Helena is an...

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What we do

Download the Commission's role, duties and powers (PDF | 47KB)

Find out more about each of the areas below:

annual audits

Annual audit reports

Auditing the accounts of all councils in Scotland

best value

Best Value reports

Reporting on councils' duty of continuous improvement

local government overview

Local government overview

Reporting on local government's financial and overall performance


Performance audit reports  

Auditing the efficiency and effectiveness of services

statutory reports

Statutory reports

Highlighting issues found in a council's annual audit

housing benefit

Housing benefit audit

Reporting on councils'  benefit services

council performance

Council performance reporting

Specifying what performance information councils must publish

local government scrutiny

Local government scrutiny

Working with other bodies to improve the scrutiny of councils

how councils work

How councils work reports

Providing practical support to help improvement in local government


Who we engage with

The public in general are our principal stakeholder but we engage with a wide range of others.

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