Abstracts: January 6th, 2004

Best value, the performance management framework for local government, is to be streamlined to reduce the burden of preparing plans. The proposals affect all local councils and fire services, but police authorities are excluded because their planning arrangements are being reviewed separately.The proposals provide for an across the board reduction in information required in plans and for giving the better performers further discretion about the content and format of their plans. It will no longer be necessary for authorities to provide comprehensive performance assessment scores; summaries of financial information; progress in implementing improvement measures over the past three years; outcomes arising from those measures; and progress against local public service agreements. The proposals also provide more flexibility over the timing of plans, so that they can be better integrated with existing corporate and business planning activities.

Comments on the consultation paper should be made by 2nd February 2004. The performance plan requirements will be published later in February 2004.

Guidance on Best Value Performance Plans: A Consultation Paper. Published by the Officer of the Deputy Prime Minister http://www.odpm.gov.uk