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.

FGN2018/03 SPFM amendments: March 2018

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;

  • 3. Major Investment  – One question has been replaced with a new question on business cases and a further question added on capacity and capability.  Guidance has been further developed around Major Investment Project criteria.
  • 4. Project Management – One question has been removed and replaced with a question on business cases, and a further question has been added on capacity and capability.
  • 7. Procurement – One new question has been added regarding contract management.
  • 8. Human Resources – The section has been fully amended, questions have been fully reworded but still cover resourcing, capacity and capability and adhering to corporate policies and processes.  One question on employee engagement has been removed with guidance notes strengthened to reflect this element across the section.
  • 9. Equality and Diversity – One question on diversity objectives has been removed and incorporated into 8. Human Resources guidance section.
  • 10. Information  - One question has been added regarding assessment and planning for compliance in advance of the implementation of the new General Data Protection Legislation.
  • 12. Sponsored Bodies – All questions have been reviewed but refer to all previous topics, Digital has been amended to Assurance and Procurement split into two questions to allow for more detailed responses.

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 2018

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