Magazine article Public Finance

Strachan Leaves after CPA Criticism

Magazine article Public Finance

Strachan Leaves after CPA Criticism

Article excerpt

James Strachan is to leave the Audit Commission later this month following controversy over last months Comprehensive Performance Assessment results, it has been announced.

The outspoken chair of the local government watchdog will stand down from his post on January 23 after three years in the job. Deputy chair Sir Michael Lyons, who is conducting an inquiry for the government into the role of local government, will become acting chair from that date until a permanent replacement can be found.

Strachans departure comes after criticisms of the commission were voiced following publication of the CPA results. Many in local government felt that the positive picture overall was obscured by an excessive focus on the results of the value-for-money studies.

The studies, which were just one element of each authority's overall CPA rating, found that half of all local authorities were only meeting the minimum standard required.

One senior local government source told Public Finance that the disgruntlement, which had been felt by some of the watchdog's other commissioners, had contributed to Stracharis departure. The results were 'sexed up to try to get a headline', the source said. …

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