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).

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Follow us on Twitter @AccCommScot.

Latest news

Apply to be Chair of the Accounts Commission

Would you like to play a central role in influencing and improving how councils and other public bodies address the challenges facing Scotland and help people’s lives? The Accounts...

Meeting Dates

  • 11Jan
  • 08Feb
  • 08Mar
  • 12Apr
  • 10May
  • 07Jun
  • 09Aug
  • 13Sep
  • 11Oct
  • 08Nov
  • 06Dec
  • 10Jan
  • 07Feb
  • 07Mar
  • 11Apr
  • 09May
  • 13Jun
  • 08Aug
  • 12Sep
  • 10Oct
  • 14Nov
  • 12Dec

Latest news

Renfrewshire makes solid progress

Renfrewshire Council continues to improve and is making encouraging progress in the performance of its services, says the Accounts Commission. A report published today, the second of a new...

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

Accounts Commission members

  • 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

Renfrewshire Council Best Value

Renfrewshire CouncilOur report last year found that Renfrewshire Council continues to improve and is making encouraging progress in the performance of its services.

Major capital investment in councils

Major capital investment in councilsWe found councils need to improve the way they manage major projects. The tableau visualisation illustrates the types of projects councils are involved in.

Changing models of health and social care

Changing models of health and social careWe reported that a lack of national leadership and clear planning was preventing the wider change urgently needed if Scotland’s health and social care services were to adapt to increasing pressures.


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:


Local government overview

Reporting on local government's financial and overall performance


Best Value reports

Reporting on councils' duty of continuous improvement


Local government scrutiny

Working with other bodies to improve the scrutiny of councils


How councils work reports

Providing practical support to help improvement in local government


Housing benefit audit

Reporting on councils'  benefit services


Annual audit reports

Auditing the accounts of all councils in Scotland


Performance audit reports

Auditing the efficiency and effectiveness of services


Statutory reports

Highlighting issues found in a council's annual audit

Our meetings

Next meeting: 8 November

Previous meeting: 11 October

Chair Graham Sharp said he was delighted to welcome newly-appointed member Sharon O’Connor for her first meeting. The Commission considered a Best Value Assurance Report on East Lothian Council.

Members  discussed two briefings from Audit Scotland on child poverty, and the potential implications of EU withdrawal for public bodies. In private session, they also considered emerging messages from the Local Government Financial Overview due to be published in November.

Minutes of this meeting will be in the papers for our next meeting and available on our website from 2 November.

The Commission next meets on 8 November.

Interested in coming to our meetings?

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