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.

FGN2016/03 SPFM amendments: March 2016

The purpose of this note is to announce recent amendments to the Scottish Public Finance Manual (SPFM). The amendments are as follows:

Governance Statements: Governance Statement

This section gives guidance on the governance statements to be provided by Accountable Officers as part of the annual accounts of all organisations to which the Scottish Public Finance Manual (SPFM) is directly applicable.  Amendments have been made to the guidance of the format of governance statements highlighting the requirement for reporting on controls in place for Programme and Project Management including compliance with the ICT Assurance Framework (where applicable); and details of any significant lapses of data security. 

Certificates of Assurance: Internal Control Checklist

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 all questions have been reviewed, amended and guidance notes have been further developed. Please take the time to review the checklist to ensure you are aware of the amendments.

Specific areas of interest are;

  • 4. Project Management - Three new questions have been added around project assurance process such as appraisal and lessons learned
  • 5. Financial Management - Questions on Financial Instructions, Training and Budget Monitoring have been revised and consolidated within the current questions.
  • 7. Procurement - Questions on the Electronic procurement card have been transferred from the Financial Management section.
  • 12. Sponsored Bodies - One question on Publication schemes has been removed and three new questions have been added on Finance, Relationships and Effective Boards
  • 13. Compliance - One new question has been added on Cyber Threats
  • 14. Review - One question has been removed on taking action to improve controls and another added on Independent Review.

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.

Scottish Government Finance Directorate

March 2016

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