Quarkside

13/10/2010

Treasury £100 billion bunkum

Filed under: Assets,Governance,Local Government,Process,Strategy — lenand @ 10:36 pm

In July the Treasury said it can save £100bn by ending duplication of local services.  The big surprise is that “the LGA agrees that £100bn could be shaved off public spending in five years by introducing “single place budgets”, in line with Treasury thinking.”

I also find it incredible the £100 billion could be saved – and a misquote of Henry Ford’s apocryphal phrase comes to mind.  One issue is that most local authorities do not have a comprehensive register of assets, nor the business processes that deliver services.  Knowledge of these are two of the seven fundamental dimensions of a Governance framework I am cogitating.  Single place budgets, ie partnership budgets, will prove to be impossible to assemble; local authorities have such poor data themselves that they won’t trust the information from other parties.

Evidence can be found in the Audit Commission report, “The truth is out there“.  “In 2008, only 5 per cent of councils were assessed as having excellent data quality. And the position has not improved. In 2009, the majority of councils were found to be meeting only the basic requirements of data quality.” Most savings identified seem to be in a range less than £1million – getting 100 thousand times this out of local government stretches my imagination.  How about you?

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