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

Equal pay in Scottish councils
 

Equal payOur report last year found that implementing equal pay remains a challenge for local government in Scotland more than a decade after the process was agreed.

Local government: challenges and performance 2018

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

Reporting our performance 2017/18
 

Accounts CommissionOur annual report highlights the work we did last year and the reports we published.

 

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: 9 August

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.
 

Interested in coming to our meetings?

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