Magazine article Public Finance

Scots Councils Told to Improve Further

Magazine article Public Finance

Scots Councils Told to Improve Further

Article excerpt

Councils need to make significant improvements in performance management, Scotland's public sector watchdog has warned.

In a report published this week, Audit Scotland acknowledged progress but called for changes in key areas.

'There remains an urgent need to improve performance management, including robust challenge and balanced public performance reporting,' the watchdog stated. This was particularly important in the light of the outcomes-based approach agreed between councils and the Scottish government.

The report added: 'Councils still have some way to go in producing good quality management information... This limits audit's ability to provide an overview of performance across services'

The report, Overview of the local authority audits 2007, recognises the changes that have taken place in local government - including the election of councils by proportional representation and the impact of a Scottish National Party administration at Holyrood.

The Scottish government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities have entered into a concordat which includes a council tax freeze and the development of a single outcome agreement.

Professor John Baillie, chair of the Accounts Commission, responsible for local authority audit in Scotland, welcomed the improvements in local government, especially increases in the amount of waste recycled (up to more than 28%) and higher council tax collection rates (93. …

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