Magazine article Public Finance

CAA Will Take Financial Downturn into Account

Magazine article Public Finance

CAA Will Take Financial Downturn into Account

Article excerpt

The local government watchdog has said its new inspection regime will take the effects of the recession into account

However, the Audit Commission warned this did not mean councils should stop striving to improve social outcomes.

The commission this week published final details of Comprehensive Area Assessments, which will come into effect from April. It promises an annual snapshot of how well councils and their partners are working together as well as judgements on an individual authority's stewardships of its resources.

Gareth Davies, managing director for local government at the Audit Commission, said the recession had thrown a different light on the introduction of the CAA. But he added it had not necessitated a complete rethink of the inspection framework, which was sufficiently flexible to support a change in emphasis.

'We need to demonstrate that we understand that and we're not going to blindly stick to judging people against targets that have been strongly affected by what's going on,' Davies said.

'But neither is it a blanket excuse for failure to improve important social outcomes locally. There are good local responses and poor local responses. We want to be able to help people identify where it's working well so they can learn from those,' he said. …

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