From Rates to the Poll Tax: Local Government Finance in the Thatcher Era

By Arthur Midwinter; Claire Monaghan | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FIVE
The Politics of Efficiency

THE EFFICIENCY AGENDA

Value for money (VFM) auditing and the use of performance indicators are two subjects currently commanding considerable attention within local government. Despite this recent interest, VFM appraisals are not new and various forms of evaluation have been used for some time throughout the public sector. During the 1960s and up until the late 1970s, Programme Planning and Budgeting Systems, Management by Objectives and Zero- Based Budgeting were developed and applied in some local authorities to allow better appraisal. A number of committees reporting between 1967 and 1976 (the Maud, Bains and Layfield Committees), stressed the importance of obtaining value for money in local services and considered stringent financial controls essential if this objective were to be met. The result of these reviews and with central government's general concern about efficiency, is the statutory obligation now imposed on external auditors of local authority accounts, to ensure that proper arrangements for achieving value for money have been made. This chapter reflects the revival in interest in the efficiency field and the need for research into a number of key issues. We begin by outlining the background to the introduction of this type of auditing and consider the legislative basis of VFM and the role played by the Accounts Commission. We then consider the operationalisation of the efficiency strategies. A preliminary survey of local authorities' responses to the auditors new duties has been conducted and the findings of this are summarised. Finally, we conclude by highlighting some of the problems which have impeded the development of value for money auditing and the use of performance indicators to date.

The need for efficiency in the public sector has been a central theme of the 1980s. As Graham Mather has said (of):

the Thatcherite commitment to better value for money. It is a straightforward concept, based on the underlying premise that monopoly services provided free at the point of consumption and untested by competitive forces are unlikely to be efficient in the medium and long-term; that they

-99-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
From Rates to the Poll Tax: Local Government Finance in the Thatcher Era
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents iii
  • List of Tables v
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Chapter One - the Fiscal and Budgetary Environment 1
  • Chapter Two - the Conservative Agenda 29
  • Chapter Three - the Control of Local Expenditure 38
  • Conclusion 61
  • Chapter Four - the Reform of Local Taxation 63
  • Conclusions 97
  • Chapter Five - the Politics of Efficiency 99
  • Chapter Six - the Limits to Financial Reform 123
  • Conclusions 135
  • References 140
  • Index 149
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 154

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.