Abstracts: April 21st, 2008

This report from Communities and Local Government seeks to promote the practice of ‘benchmarking’ across local government. By comparing the costs of standard business processes such as handling a council tax payment or a planning application, across a number of councils, it is possible to identify potential areas for making efficiency savings.

The ‘benchmarking’ approach has become particularly helpful as a means of comparing the costs of different access channels, such as personal caller and Internet both within and between councils.

Comparing like with like is essential to ‘benchmarking’ and this requires that all councils work to an agreed set of standards. The report sets out a common costs allocation framework for calculating the costs of business processes and a standard definition of what constitutes a local government transaction.

The report also provides advice and guidance on the costing of work activities, as commonly required as part of process improvement and channel migration initiatives.

The report is available from DCLG.