The Scottish Fiscal Commission is an independent body which is accountable to the Scottish Parliament. It is the ambition of the Commission to conduct its business in as open and transparent way as possible.
The Scottish Fiscal Commission Act 2016 sets out in statute the functions that the Commission must perform. From 1 April 2017 the functions have been expanded to reflect the additional powers devolved in the Scotland Act 2016.
Budget and Operations
The Scottish Fiscal Commission’s budget for 2017-18 is £1.7m; this includes the costs of establishing the Commission in the first year of statutory operation.
The Commission is located in Governor’s House, Edinburgh which is shared with the Scottish Human Rights Commission. The Scottish Fiscal Commission buys in some administrative support services from the Scottish Government, including IT support, human resources and financial services.
As part of its statutory functions, the Scottish Fiscal Commission will publish an Annual Report. The first Annual Report will be published in 2018.
Working with Others
Scottish Government: Information on the Commission’s relationship with the Scottish Government is set out in the Framework Document. The Commission has agreed a Protocol with the Scottish Government covering interactions between the Commission and Scottish Government during the forecasting, assessment and reporting process both during the formal periods of engagement around fiscal events, and engagement outwith fiscal events. A supplement to the protocol covering the additional procedure for Budget Bill 2018-19 has also been agreed.
HMRC: We use data collected by HMRC in some of our forecasts. We have a Memorandum of Understanding with HMRC that sets out the way in which we work together.
Office of Budget Responsibility: We have a statutory duty of cooperation with the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR). We are drafting a full memorandum of understanding with the OBR and will publish it once is has been agreed. In the interim we are operating using the following principles.
Revenue Scotland: We use data collected by Revenue Scotland within some of our forecasts. We have a Memorandum of Understanding with Revenue Scotland that sets out the way in which we work together.
Over the next few months, we will finalise and publish here a number of other documents setting out how the Commission will operate and how we work with other organisations to fulfil our functions.
Voluntary Compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics
The Commission seeks to adhere to the highest standards for analysis possible. While we do not produce official statistics (we produce forecasts), the Commission and our work voluntarily complies as much as possible with the UK Statistic Authority's Code of Practice for Official Statistics. Further details can be found in our Voluntary Statement of Compliance.
The way in which we function as a public body is governed by our corporate documents and processes. Minutes of Governance Board meetings are published.
History - June 2014 to March 2017
The Commission operated as a non-statutory body from June 2014 to March 2017, independently scrutinising and assessing Scottish Government forecasts of receipts and economic determinants from taxes devolved to Scotland.
The Commission published three reports on the Scottish Government forecasts and two reports evaluating them.
The Commission’s non-statutory remit and duties were set out in a Framework Document (PDF 0.2MB) agreed between the Commission and the Scottish Government and in consultation with the Scottish Parliament Finance Committee. The Protocol for the Draft Budget 2017-18 (PDF 0.2MB) covered the engagement between the Scottish Fiscal Commission and the Scottish Government in relation to the Commission’s scrutiny of the forecasts.