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.

FGN2017/03 SPFM amendments: March 2017

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

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;

  • 5. Financial Management – One new question has been added around Debt recovery. Guidance has been further developed around asset management.

  • 7. Procurement – One question has been removed on the use of a contract register.

  • 10. Information  - One question has been added regarding Information Assets.

  • 12. Sponsored Bodies - One question on Settlement Agreements has been removed. Questions on Effective Boards, Digital and Procurement have been substantially amended.

  • 14. Review – All questions in this section have been amended. One question has been removed on awareness of the types of independent review and another added on implementation of actions from 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 2017

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