Well done! According to the Audit Commission's latest Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) star-ratings of local authorities the majority of Councils are ‘improving well’ or ‘improving strongly.’

Reading the BBC's web coverage, which although very good is a bit disheartening due to the image they choose to represent council services of wheelie bins being emptied. The equivalent to a council operation in the private sector is a diversified conglomerate that operates in a disparate range of industry sectors. The difference being that a private sector company can choose which sectors it wants to operate in while a council has statutory obligations that go way beyond emptying bins, such as social care, education, environment, housing and much more.

We are all aware that the local government assessment process is transitioning from CPA to Comprehensive Area Assessments in the coming year. What the impact will be on the key performance indicators councils need to monitor and measure has yet to become clear, although the emphasis appears to be more on qualitative measures and will place the experience of citizens, people who use services and local taxpayers at the centre of the process.

Here at Microsoft we are very enthusiastic about our new performance management software – PerformancePoint Server – which provides not just the monitoring and measuring capabilities you would expect from a business intelligence solution, but analytical features as well. We've also produced a demonstration of PerformancePoint Server in a local authority context, which shows how it can be used to measure the effectiveness of a disparate range of council services. Why not book a place on one of the two seminars we are holding on Performance Management in the Public Sector where you can find out more about how PerformancePoint Server can help you obtain or retain a 4-star rating for your local authority in next year’s Audit Commission report? The sessions are in Reading on February 20th and Manchester on March 12th.

Posted by Ian