Headlines, PublicNet: 23 September, 1997

The message from the Audit Commission, which encourages auditors to bring better value for money from their audits, is that in 1995/96 local authorities did well in improving efficiency, but could do better. The Commission’s third annual survey of overall performance shows that the worst performing authorities in individual services had improved significantly. The 15 authorities which took longest to re-let empty council homes have improved their performance over the three years from 13.5 weeks in 1993/94 to 9.6 weeks in 1995/96. Overall, this is almost a 30% reduction in the length of time properties are left empty by those authorities.The average performing authorities have also improved. Processing of claims for council tax benefit has speeded up with claims processed within 14 days increasing from 80% to 84% compared to the previous year.

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