Latest news from the Commission

Here we feature the latest news and other information about the Accounts Commission.

Find out more about the work of the Accounts Commission or follow the Commission on Twitter @AccCommScot to keep in touch with the latest news.

Last meeting: 7 February 2019

Members were presented with responses to the recent consultation with councils, trade unions and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations  on their updated work programme (2019/20 – 2023/24). Following this they were asked to approve the programme.The updated work programme is due to be published in March.  


In the private session there was a presentation and discussion on the draft Overview of local government in Scotland report. Members approved the draft report, which is due to be published on 14 March.


There was also discussion around the draft How councils work report, focusing on protecting public money. The ‘how councils work’ series of reports aims to stimulate change and provide practical support to help councils continue improving their performance. The topics are based on recurring themes and issues from our Best Value and performance audit work, the work of auditors and the overview report. The Commission approved the draft, and it is due to be published on 11 April.  


Members also received an update from Audit Scotland colleagues on financial devolution and EU Withdrawal. There was insight to Commission members on new financial powers, particularly the impact on this year’s budget and, more significantly, on the impact of the reassignment of VAT to Scotland in next year’s budget. There was also discussion about the Scottish Government’s focus on resilience planning in the event of a no deal Brexit, in particular concerns around maintaining food and medical supplies.

Audit Scotland’s Audit Quality and Appointments team led a discussion about changes to the form of audit reports to local government bodies. In particular, this update reflected changed requested by the Accounts Commission last year and the detection of fraud in councils.


The Accounts Commission also welcomed David Martin, Chief Executive of Dundee City Council and chair of the board of the Local Government Benchmarking Framework. David Martin, along with Emily Lynch of the Improvement Service, focused on the recent publication of the Local Government Benchmarking Framework, just published by the Improvement Service.

David highlighted the increasing importance of this data as part of the improvement journey for councils and Community Planning Partnerships. Overall he said that services were improving or performance levels being maintained across Scotland, although in some areas the rate of improvement is slowing or beginning to see a decline. The Commission welcomed working further with the board in the future as the project continues to develop.

Next meeting: 7 March

One year on

Graham Sharp looks back at his first year as chair of the Accounts Commission.

New Commission members appointed

Following a recruitment campaign earlier this year, four new members have been appointed to the Commission. Andrew Cowie and Andrew Burns' appointment will run from 1 August 2018 to 31 July 2022. Find out more about them below. Sharon O’Connor’s appointment will run from 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2022 and Christine Lester will run from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2022.

Existing members Sandy Cumming and Alan Campbell will step down as members at the end of September and December respectively. Find out more about the Commission's members.

Commission members

Andrew Burns

Some interesting information about Andrew and what he's done before.

Commission members

Andy Cowie

Some interesting information about Andy and what he's done before.