19 March 2009

Annual Efficiency Statements - a good place to start!

A useful link which provides information about the Annual Efficiency Statements provided by each local authority.


"Annual Efficiency Statements - 2007-08 Backward Look

As part of the local government efficiency agenda, during the 2004 Spending Review period (2005-06 to 2007-08), all councils in England have been required to submit Annual Efficiency Statements to Communities and Local Government. These submissions were formed of two parts; the Forward and Backward look statements.
  • The Forward Look was for authorities to set out their general strategy for making efficiency gains; an estimate of the value of new gains expected to be achieved during the forthcoming financial year; and the key actions planned to realise them.
  • The Backward Look was for authorities to set out the value of ongoing gains sustained from previous years; the value of new efficiency gains actually achieved during that financial year; and the actions that were undertaken to release them.
The documents that are published here are the 2007-08 Backward Look statements and spreadsheets which set out the efficiency gains achieved in each sector by each local authority and the quality crosschecks provided to demonstrate that service quality has not deteriorated as a result. The published items are unedited by the Department and the results are not subject to review or endorsement by the Department."

The information is presented in fairly dense and not easily searchable form - but there is a lot there.

For example Adur Council reported "Long term agreement with Leisure Trust to manage Council services at a reducing cost with no diminution in service" whilst Worthing Council reports in corporate services "The efficiencies for 2007/08 initiatives totalled £95,246 (all cashable)and comprised the following initiatives : Financial Services Staffing restructure (£48,000), reduced staff advertising (£13,551), reduced contribution to insurance reserves(£4,750), introduction of electronic printing means (£4,686), and savings on legal services (£2,846), strategic planning (£9,413) and Fraud Investigations (£12,000). Additionally, ongoing savings totalling £136,436 (£11,983 non cashable) were derived from previous year schemes, including joint chief executive arrangements (£6,794), insurance premium reductions (£24,925), interest from investment of proceeds from asset sales (£101,552), reduced use of agency staff (£4,956), IEG savings (£23,829), and treasury management consultancy (£235) - offset by unsustained gain from 2004/05 scheme relating to senior management restructuring (£25,855)." 

Interesting both councils now share a Chief Executive "Of key significance in 2007/08 was the decision taken in July 2007 by both Worthing and Adur councils to forge ahead with partnership working, cemented by a single officer structure with effect from 1 April 2008. This will engender further savings in 2008/09."

So if you want to check out your own or another council - this is a good place to start!

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