For good measure: devolving accountability for performance and assessment to local areas

For good measure: devolving accountability for performance and assessment to local areas

Is devolving power to local authorities the way forward?


This report is a contribution to the debate on the future of local government performance and assessment. In it the author outlines the possibility of reducing the burden of inspection on councils, while simultaneously increasing local accountability and the level of sector-led assistance and support.
The author focuses on the UK but discussess issues which are applicable to all countries. For instance the paper details provides information on issues such as:

  • Creating stronger local accountability to improve performance, which the author sees as critical to rebalancing power between central and local government
  • Replacing central inspection with peer support and self evaluation: the paper asserts that self evaluation and comparison of performance between councils will drive up performance.

Conclusions/ recommendations include:

  • Increasing the level of local government accountability to local residents will have a number of benefits including improved performance
  • Central government should cede more powers to local government in line with or at a faster rate than increases in local accountability
  • All Councils should carry out an analysis of what information people are interested in. Councils should release the raw information as regularly as possible on their website or in any other appropriate form
  • Burdensome inspection regimes distort behaviour and create an unnecessary and costly bureaucracy
  • Peer support and comparison of local government is a powerful driver for improvement.
  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.