1. DATA SOURCES
1.1 The Scottish Government's Provisional Outturn and Budget Estimates (POBE) has been collected with the help of the 32 unitary Local Authorities and Police and Fire Boards. The continued co-operation of these bodies in completing these returns is gratefully acknowledged.
1.2 The POBE form and Additional Information Sheets are sent to all Local Authorities annually to complete a breakdown by service and sub-service of their Provisional Outturn expenditure for the current year and their Budget Estimates for the forthcoming year. All amounts returned are Net Revenue Expenditure.
1.3 The Provisional Outturn 2011-12 expenditure are provisional figures, the Final Outturn 2011-12 Net Revenue Expenditure figures will be published in the Scottish Local Government Financial Statistics (SLGFS) 2011-12, scheduled for publication in February 2013. Previous SLGFS publications can be found here: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Local-Government-Finance/PubScottishLGFStats .
1.4 Detailed statistics on Budget Estimates, using the POBE data, can be found in the 'Rating Review Estimates' series which are published annually by CIPFA in September.
2. DATA DEFINITIONS
2.1 All data are Net Revenue Expenditure figures.
2.2 Local Government expenditure is split between revenue and capital expenditure. This publication covers revenue expenditure only. Revenue expenditure is largely made up of employee and operating costs. Gross Revenue Expenditure is the total expenditure on Local Authority services within a financial year and Net Revenue Expenditure is the gross revenue expenditure less any specific income for individual services. It is therefore the Net Revenue Expenditure to be financed from General Revenue Funding, Non-Domestic Rates income, Council Tax income and Local Authority Reserves.
2.3 Net Revenue Expenditure is therefore influenced by the value of any income attributable to an individual service. For example, a local authority will provide planning and building control services for which they will charge fees. The net revenue expenditure will be the residual cost of providing those services after deducting any income from fees charged.
2.4 When comparing the Provisional Outturn and the Budget Estimates with each other, or with any previously published data on outturn or budgets, please be aware of the following:-
- Across years, accounting procedures adopted by councils may improve as new Statements of Recommended Practice (SORP) and Financial Reporting Standards (FRS) are developed by official accounting bodies, which can lead to discontinuity in the data collected between financial years.
- Budget estimates are only an indication of spend, and when comparing budget estimates, year to year changes for individual councils and/or individual services can be misleading in terms of being an indication of the eventual annual change in spend.
- Net revenue expenditure can be affected by large one-off payments in any year e.g. Equal Pay back pay settlement expenditure.
2.5 From 1st April 2010, there was a change in funding arrangements for police and fire pensions costs. Therefore, it is not possible to directly compare local authority police and fire expenditure provisional outturn or budget estimates for 2010-11 onwards with estimates for 2009-10 or with estimates from previous years. For more details on the change in funding arrangements see paragraph 2.6 of the POBE 2010 publication at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/stats/bulletins/00828
2.6 Revised accounting arrangements for Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) and Public Private Partnerships (PPP) were introduced from 1st April 2009. From 2010 onwards, the POBE was revised to collect data based on the new arrangements, with the statutory repayment of debt and interest elements of the total unitary payment previously recorded within individual service expenditure, now recorded in other expenditure lines of the POBE return and hence included under 'other services' in tables 1 and 2.
For more detailed information on the accounting changes see Finance Circular 4/2010.
3. THIS IS AN OFFICIAL STATISTICS PUBLICATION
3.1 Official statistics are produced by independent professional statistical staff - more information on the standards of Official Statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/About.
4.1 For public enquiries (non-media) about the information contained in this Statistics Publication Notice contact Local Government Finance Statistics on 0131 244 7033 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
4.2 Media enquiries about the information in this Statistics Publication Notice should be addressed to Christine Stokes on 0131 244 2797
Local Government Finance Statistics website: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Local-Government-Finance
Email: Bruce Golding
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