Councils say it is impossible to determine their priorities ahead of next year's spending review because the Executive has failed to produce a baseline budget which draws together both government grant and the various initiative-based pots of money allocated to local government.
Norie Williamson, strategic director at the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, said in August finance minister Andy Kerr had committed to producing a comprehensive budget, but had yet to deliver.
'We are about to embark on a series of meetings with service ministers, and we need to know what our baseline is before determining our priorities,' he said.
Dundee City Council finance director David Dorward said lack of transparency made it impossible to compare the Executive's budget with the needs of councils.
'If local government and the Scottish Executive could agree which playing field we are all on, then the goalposts would not keep shifting,' he said.