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Changes in CPA Approach

25 June 2003

The Audit Commission said today that improved local services would be a key factor for councils to achieve better peformance in the future under the Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) process.

Chairman James Strachan commented: "CPA is a tool for improvement and like any successful tool its design needs to be heavily influenced by those who will use it. We have listened to feedback from local government and have changed our approach to increase the effectiveness of CPA. We must ensure that improvement reporting reflects significant improvement in local services that the public will recognise."

Details of the final scheme include:

  • The threshold for points needed on core service performance has been reduced – councils can increase their grade if they improve scores on education, children's and adults' social services, or two other service areas.
  • Councils can request a further corporate assessment (which measures overall council ability) if they can demonstrate services have improved across the board – they do not necessarily need a high score on service performance.
  • 'Poor' authorities can have a corporate assessment carried out once the ODPM lead official and the council's monitoring board are satisfied that progress has been made against their recovery plan.
  • Any council with the potential to move into the 'excellent' category including those held back by rules will get a proportionate corporate assessment to ensure they meet the high standards required of excellent councils

All councils will get an update reported in December on the basis of service performance - then revised scores based on new corporate assessments will be reported on a rolling basis during 2004.

The Audit Commission will be commencing formal consulation at the end of this year on the CPA framework from 2005/06.

Read the full announcement

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