Monitoring council spending of money gained in advance from government: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/18/03278  
Date received: 4 November 2018
Date responded: 8 November 2018
Information requested

What measures do the Scottish Government take in order to monitor council spending of public money which is gained in advance from the government, and who is responsible for this monitoring?


As councils in Scotland operate independently of central government, it is the responsibility of individual local authorities to monitor the total financial resources available to them.

However, councils' financial performance is subject to both internal and external audit and scrutiny to ensure good practice and improvement.

The Scottish Government have set up a number of independent bodies, such as Audit Scotland, the Accounts Commission, and the Auditor General, to monitor the work of local authorities.

Each year, the Scottish Government issues financial returns relating to local government finance for completion by local authorities on the basis of audited annual accounts. The financial returns are pulled together to provide a comprehensive overview of Scottish local authority financial activity. The ‘Scottish Local Government Financial Statistics’ cover local authority income, revenue and capital expenditure, outstanding debt, local taxation and local authority pensions, and are published annually.

Further information on Scottish Local Government Finance Statistics can be found at the link below. 

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Central Enquiry Unit 
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government 
St Andrew's House 
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