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Notes for Guidance - Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 2016 (as amended)

This guidance describes the general functions of Accountant in Bankruptcy, interim trustees, trustees and commissioners in relation to their responsibilities regarding bankruptcies which started on or after 30 November 2016.

1. Role of The Accountant in Bankruptcy

This section provides information on the role of Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) as an agency of the Scottish Government. It also describes the general functions of Scottish Government officials, the Accountant in Bankruptcy and Depute Accountant in Bankruptcy in relation to the bankruptcy process. AiB operates independently and impartially whilst remaining directly accountable to Scottish ministers.

For the purposes of clarity the following terminology is used throughout these Notes for Guidance.


AiB refers to the organisation which is an agency of the Scottish Government.

The Accountant

The Accountant refers to the individual appointed by Scottish ministers under section 199(1) of the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 2016 and who acts as an officer of the court with responsibilities including determining debtor applications, granting awards of bankruptcy and the additional functions conferred in legislation of April 2015. These additional functions are listed under the officer of court heading below. The Accountant also performs supervisory and regulatory roles which are also described in further detail.

The Depute Accountant

The Depute Accountant refers to an individual appointed by the Scottish ministers, in terms of Section 199(2)(b) of the Act. The Depute Accountant is empowered under that provision to exercise any and all of the functions of the Accountant in terms of the Act at any time the Accountant is unable to do so.

The Accountant in Bankruptcy

The Accountant in Bankruptcy refers to the role undertaken by the Accountant as trustee in the administration of bankruptcies.

The Accountant/Accountant in Bankruptcy is independent as regards the exercise of their statutory functions although their decisions and determinations can generally be reviewed and ultimately appealed to the court.

The Scottish ministers, after consultation with the Lord President of the Court of Session, may give the Accountant/Accountant in Bankruptcy general directions as to the performance of their functions in relation to all bankruptcies or specific types of bankruptcies but they may not give directions in respect of any particular case.

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