Thurrock Council - Audit of the Best Value Performance Plan 2005 06
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Thurrock Council - Audit of the Best Value Performance Plan 2005 06

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Audit Summary Report October 2005 Audit of the Best Value Performance Plan and Performance Indicators Thurrock Council Audit 2005/2006 The Audit Commission is an independent body responsible for ensuring that public money is spent economically, efficiently and effectively, to achieve high quality local and national services for the public. Our remit covers around 11,000 bodies in England, which between them spend more than £180 billion of public money each year. Our work covers local government, health, housing, community safety and fire and rescue services. As an independent watchdog, we provide important information on the quality of public services. As a driving force for improvement in those services, we provide practical recommendations and spread best practice. As an independent auditor, we monitor spending to ensure that public services are good value for money. Status of our reports to the Council Our reports are prepared in the context of the Statement of Responsibilities of Auditors and Audited Bodies issued by the Audit Commission. Reports are prepared by appointed auditors and addressed to members or officers. They are prepared for the sole use of the audited body, and no responsibility is taken by auditors to any member or officer in their individual capacity, or to any third party. Copies of this report If you require further copies of this report, or a copy in large print, in ...

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Audit Summary Report
October 2005
Audit of the Best
Value Performance
Plan and Performance
Indicators
Thurrock Council
Audit 2005/2006
© Audit Commission 2005
For further information on the work of the Commission please contact:
Audit Commission, 1st Floor, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4HQ
Tel: 020 7828 1212
Fax: 020 7976 6187
Textphone (minicom): 020 7630 0421
www.audit-commission.gov.uk
The Audit Commission is an independent body responsible for ensuring that public
money is spent economically, efficiently and effectively, to achieve high quality local
and national services for the public. Our remit covers around 11,000 bodies in
England, which between them spend more than £180 billion of public money each
year. Our work covers local government, health, housing, community safety and fire
and rescue services.
As an independent watchdog, we provide important information on the quality of
public services. As a driving force for improvement in those services, we provide
practical recommendations and spread best practice. As an independent auditor,
we monitor spending to ensure that public services are good value for money.
Status of our reports to the Council
Our reports are prepared in the context of the Statement of Responsibilities of
Auditors and Audited Bodies issued by the Audit Commission. Reports are
prepared by appointed auditors and addressed to members or officers. They are
prepared for the sole use of the audited body, and no responsibility is taken by
auditors to any member or officer in their individual capacity, or to any third party.
Copies of this report
If you require further copies of this report, or a copy in large print, in Braille,
on tape, or in a language other than English, please call 0845 0560566.
Audit of the Best Value Performance Plan and Performance Indicators
Contents
3
Thurrock Council
Contents
Introduction
4
Audit approach
4
Findings
5
Main conclusions
5
4
Audit of the Best Value Performance Plan
and Performance Indicators
Thurrock Council
Introduction
1
Best Value continues as one element of the Government’s programme for the
modernisation of local government. It provides a framework within which Best
Value authorities can improve service standards and performance, consisting of
three main elements:
a Best Value Performance Plan (BVPP) which reports on authorities’
performance and plans for improvement;
a set of nationally prescribed Best Value performance indicators (BVPIs)
through which the comparative performance of authorities can be monitored;
and
a process of systematic review by authorities of their services and functions.
2
All Best Value authorities are required by the Local Government Act 1999 and
related guidance to prepare and publish a BVPP each year, by a prescribed date
(currently 30 June), and setting out an assessment of current performance and
targets for improvements.
Audit approach
3
The key objective of our compliance audit was to consider and report on whether
the Authority complied with the statutory requirements in respect of the
preparation and publication of its 2005/06 BVPP. The audit was undertaken in
two discrete but interlinked elements:
assessing the extent to which the BVPP complies with statutory requirements
in terms of content and distribution; and
assessing the adequacy of the systems the Council has put in place to
produce and publish the specified performance information.
4
It should be noted that this report is not the auditor’s statutory audit report on the
BVPP as required under section 7 of the Local Government Act 1999, which will
be published separately.
5
For the compliance audit, we assessed the extent to which your BVPP complies
with legislation and revised statutory guidance, drawing upon a ‘compliance
checklist’ produced by our Operations Directorate. In addition, we also used a
BVPI inclusion checklist to consider whether the BVPP includes all specified
performance information.
6
This year, the Audit Commission specified nine PIs for particular attention by
auditors. For the first time this includes some non BVPIs, relating to the Housing
Investment Programme (HIP) return, which do not appear in the BVPP. This is to
enable the Commission to obtain positive assurance in relation to this set of PIs,
taking account of the Commission's requirements for CPA, in particular the
proposals for service assessments. Our audit focused on these nine.
Audit of the Best Value Performance Plan and Performance Indicators
5
Thurrock Council
Findings
7
The BVPP was published by the statutory deadline.
8
The BVPP included all the required BVPI actual figures and targets.
9
Four BVPIs were amended as follows:
BVPI 183b - (Average length of stay in hostel accommodation) from 10 days
to 11 days;
BVPI 75iii - (Satisfaction of tenants with opportunities for participation in
management and decision making) from 46% to 54%;
BVPI 184 - (Percentage change in proportion of non-decent homes 2004-
2005) from 10 to 13; and
BVPI 185 - (Percentage of appointments made and kept for responsive
repairs) from 51.5 to 50.
10
We placed an audit reservation on the following BVPI:
BVPI 199 (cleanliness of public spaces) - the mandatory sampling
requirements were not met.
Main conclusions
11
The BVPP is compliant with statutory requirements.
12
The Council needs to bring the robustness of some of its performance information
up to the standard of the best, as noted above.
13
We are not making any statutory recommendations to improve the BVPP.
14
The Council will need to take steps to address the audit reservations listed above
in readiness for future year's audits.