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

West Dunbartonshire Council Best Value

West Dunbartonshire CouncilIn its report from June, the Commission found that West Dunbartonshire Council had made significant progress in recent years.

Community Planning: an update
 

Community planningOur 2016 report found that progress on community planning had not yet achieved the major change needed to fulfil its potential. In August, we looked at what impact our report had.

Our strategy 2018-23
 

Accounts Commission strategyWe publish an annual strategy and action plan which sets out priorities for our work and how we will take them forward.

 

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: 6 December

Previous meeting: 8 November

The Commission agreed to issue findings on Best Value Assurance Report on Dumfries and Galloway Council to be published on 22 November.

Members approved a draft Direction statutory performance information which will now be the subject of consultation with councils before considering again in December and publishing by the end of this year.

Later in the private session they also agreed the draft of the Local Government Financial Overview due to be published on 29  November.

Minutes of this meeting will be in the papers for our next meeting and available on our website from 30 November.

The Commission next meets on 6 December.

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. Find out more about who we engage with and what our main activities are.

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