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.

FGN2020/01 SPFM amendments: January 2020

FGN2020/01 SPFM amendments: January 2020

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 some 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.

1. Risk Management – The questions in this section hve been reviewed and slightly reworded but content of the questions remains the same.  A further question 1.4 has been added asking areas to assess the level of skills and training of those staff directly managing key risks.

3. Major Investment – The section has been fully amended, questions have been fully reworded but still cover previous requirements. A further question 3.6 has been added to test what arrangements are in place for the realisation of benefits and capturing lessons from major investment projects.

5. Financial Management – Some of the questions have been reworded but content remains substantially the same but with the addition of two new questions regarding the management of grants.  Question 5.13 asks for assurance on grant awards and their links to the National Performance Framework and question 5.14 which relates to assurance on grant manager skills and training.

7. Procurement – The section remains the same but with the addition of one new question 7.3 relating to ensuring appropriate contracts are place for all procurement.

9. Equality and Diversity – The section has been fully amended, most questions have been fully reworded but still cover the topics previously included, and one new additional new question 9.4 has been added testing if any schemes operated by business areas for funding the work of external stakeholders deliver improved outcomes for people with protected characteristics.

12. Sponsored Bodies – The majority of questions have been reviewed and amended with specific amendments to questions on, National Outcomes, Effective boards, Fair Work and a new question 12.11 has been added regarding how area’s sponsored bodies support the Scottish Government purpose to tackle the climate change emergency specifically through procurement related activities.

Scottish Government Finance Directorate

January 2020



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