The Accounts Commission has a statutory power to define the performance information that councils must publish for performance comparison and benchmarking purposes. It fulfils this power by issuing a Statutory Performance Information (SPI) Direction to councils. In recent years the Commission has used the power to emphasise what it sees as the prime importance of councils reporting performance to their citizens and communities. The Direction sets out the performance information that the Commission requires councils to publish.
Statutory Performance Information Direction
The current Direction was published on 21 December 2021 and applies to reporting performance for the three years from 1 April 2022. The Schedule requires each council to report a range of information covered by the following two indicators (including in combination if desired):
Statutory Performance Indicator 1: Improving Local Services and Local Outcomes
- Its performance in improving local public services, both provided by itself and in conjunction with its partners and communities.
- Progress against the desired outcomes agreed with its partners and communities.
The Commission expects the council to report such information to allow comparison (i) over time and (ii) with other similar bodies (thus drawing upon information published by the Local Government Benchmarking Framework and from other benchmarking activities).
The Commission expects the council to, in agreeing its outcomes with its partners and communities, report on how it has engaged with, responded to and helped to empower its communities, including those who require greater support.
Statutory Performance Indicator 2: Demonstrating Best Value
- Its assessment of how it is performing against its duty of Best Value, including self-assessments and service review activity, and how it has responded to this assessment.
- Audit assessments (including those in the annual audit) of its performance against its Best Value duty, and how it has responded to these assessments.
- Assessments from other scrutiny and inspection bodies, and how it has responded to these assessments.
In satisfying the requirements set out in this schedule, the Commission expects the council to take cognisance of current statutory guidance on Best Value requirements, and in particular to ensure:
- Balance in reporting areas of improvement that have been achieved and not achieved.
- This is undertaken in a timely manner.
- Easy access to its performance information for all of its citizens and communities, with such information presented in an accessible style
- Best Value External Audit Reports
- Best Value – Public Performance Reporting 2021/22
- Chief Social Work Officer Annual Report 2022/23
- End of Term Assessment: Policy Delivery 2018-2022
- Public Performance Report 2021 – 22
- Self-Assessment Outcome Reports
- Service Business Plans – Action and KPI Progress Reports
- Trade Union Facility Time off Reporting 2022/23