The new Comprehensive Performance Assessment
system being introduced to grade local authorities’ performance
must take account of deprivation, the Audit Commission has
The commission’s CPA draft consultation paper
published last week suggests that Best Value performance indicators
known to have a relationship with deprivation should be adjusted to
account for that. Where this is not possible, a higher overall
weight of the services assessment part of the CPA should be given
to inspection judgements.
However, the report also states that
deprivation should not be accepted as a reason for some people in
the country receiving poorer services than others. Instead, the CPA
process should be used to identify where differences in performance
exist and to inform the improvement process.
The CPA model will assess performance on both
the quality of current services and the council’s proven capacity
to improve, leading to an annual “report card” which places each
local authority into one of four streams: top performing, striving,
coasting or failing. This will be accompanied by an action plan
setting out how the council will tackle improvement.
The process will include performance
information across a number of service areas, plus an additional
assessment of the overall corporate capability of the council.
Self-assessment will also be important.
All 150 single-tier and county councils will
be assessed and categorised by early December. The current
performance and improvement scores for children’s and adult
services will be incorporated into the CPA model.
– CPA draft methodology from www.audit-commission.gov.uk/itc/cpainfo.shtml