Police Scotland “overspent” its 2015/16 revenue budget by more than £18 million, new figures show.
A report being presented to the Scottish Police Authority later shows net revenue expenditure exceeded the force’s £1.1 budget.
However, underspends on the capital and reform budgets meant the net overspend was £8.1m or 0.75 per cent of the available budget.
Set up with the aim of saving a total of £1.1bn by 2026, Police Scotland is facing mounting financial challenges.
Last year the force said it expected a £25m overspend on its revenue budget, but figures from James Gray, the force’s interim chief financial officer, now show that figure has been cut to just over £18m.
Police Scotland’s accounts are due to be submitted to the Scottish Government and Audit Scotland by 31 July.
The SPA report said: “The draft outturn revenue position for financial year 2015/16 is a deficit against budget of £18m. The approved revenue budget incorporated the requirement to deliver cost reductions of £57.5m in the year.
“The target was acknowledged as challening and the extent of the challenge was reflected in the associated risk status attached to the savings proposed.”
The report said the most significant area of underspend in the capital budget was in relation to the delayed i6 IT project.
The £60m project, which is bringing together more than 100 existing systems belonging to the country’s eight legacy forces, has been hit with a series of last-minute glitches.