Scottish Public Finance Manual

The Scottish Public Finance Manual (SPFM) is issued by the Scottish Ministers to provide guidance on the proper handling and reporting of public funds.

Annex 1: new services checklist

This checklist identifies the main issues that need to be considered when introducing a new or updated charging service.

  • Define the service, and its rationale.
  • Identify the users.
  • Decide which organisation is to provide the service.
  • How is the service to be provided - on line, telephone, personal or postal application, etc.
  • Set the financial objective for the service.
  • Carry out any necessary investment appraisal of options for delivery.
  • Decide how capital and other start up costs are to be met.
  • Decide which on-going costs are to be recovered.
  • Decide whether the provider should retain any of the income from charges.
  • Decide how the service is to be delivered and charged for.
  • Establish the VAT position.
  • Clarify any public expenditure issues, eg providing start up costs.
  • Check that the legal powers to provide the service are adequate.
  • Decide the charging structure: eg a single service, or several sub-services.
  • If the service licences or registers people or organisations for an activity, decide whether there should be a single level of charge, or a scale of charges.
  • Check that there are suitable costing processes in place, including tracking evolution of costs.
  • Ensure that the performance of the service is monitored and reported to the leaders of the organisation responsible, with scope for feedback to change processes as need be.
  • For commercial services, consider any competition law implications.
  • Agree any special arrangements with specific users within the organisation or elsewhere in the public sector.
  • Consult prospective users (or their proxies) as necessary.
  • Decide the timetable for introducing the new or adjusted service.
  • Make sure that, where required, the relevant Scottish Government Finance Business Partner (or equivalent) has approved the proposed package.
  • Consult the Scottish Government Shared Services team at

Page Published/ Updated: January 2008

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