Former Strathclyde RC chief executive Neil McIntosh said the commission respected the clear direction from the government that it was not expected to come up with a blueprint for reformed local taxation.
But the commission would inevitably make recommendations about finance as part of its examination of how effective local government could be in the new framework, Mr McIntosh said.
'That is not departing from our remit. It is important for the credibility of the work we do that we recognise finance has a major impact upon the standing of local authorities and the way in which they operate,' he said.
The decision was partly due to the comprehensive spending review and to a feeling that 'the agenda was already crowded for McIntosh', Mr Dewar said. 'We took a balanced judgment and I can't really reopen it now.'