FGN2014/01 SPFM amendments: January 2014
The purpose of this note is to announce recent substantive amendments to the Scottish Public Finance Manual (SPFM). The amendments are as follows:
The Local Government Finance Annex: Housing Revenue Account
This update provides additional detail on the general principals underlying the keeping of a Housing Revenue Account (HRA) in Scotland. We will also be publishing detailed non-statutory guidance on the operation of HRAs in the near future.
The most significant amendment in this update is clarification on the Scottish Ministers involvement in the operation of HRAs and details the procedures which Councils should follow when applying to the Scottish Ministers for consent to dispose of HRA assets.
Update to Finance Guidance note:
FGN 2009/01 - financial memoranda that accompany Scottish Government bills
This update is to clarify wording to ensure that it better describes what financial memorandums may need to cover, reduced costs, additional Income and/or increased returns, therefore all references to savings have been changed to benefits.
Certificates of Assurance:
This section of the SPFM relates to the assurance framework and the signing of the governance statements provided by Accountable Officers as part of the annual accounts process. The certificates of assurance guidance relates specifically to constituent parts of the Scottish Administration i.e. the core Scottish Government (SG), the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, SG Executive Agencies and non-ministerial departments.
The internal control checklist that underpins the assurances from Deputy Directors (or equivalents) to Directors (or equivalents) has been updated. The checklist still covers the same sections as previous versions but questions have been reviewed and guidance notes have been further developed. Please take the time to review the checklist to ensure you are aware of the amendments.
Other organisations to which the SPFM is directly applicable – including separate accounting bodies sponsored by the SG – should have appropriate assurance frameworks consistent with this guidance in place.