On 21 December 2011 the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Regeneration Committee launched a call for written evidence from all interested parties on a three-strand inquiry under the overarching theme of public sector reform and local government in Scotland. The call for written evidence closed on 17 February 2012.
Strand 2 of the inquiry focuses on benchmarking and performance measurement.
The Committee has appointed Alex Linkston as its adviser on strand two of its public services reform inquiry.
The Committee held a one-day seminar on benchmarking in Scottish local government as part of Strand 2 of the inquiry. This seminar took place at the Scottish Parliament on Monday 10 September 2012. See the inquiry webpage for further information.
The Committee took further written and oral evidence from Scottish Water (12 September), COSLA, local authorities and the Improvement Service (31 October), as part of its inquiry. See the inquiry webpage for further information.
The Committee aims to publish its report on Strand 2 of its inquiry by the end of November 2012.
The Committee held a one-day seminar on benchmarking in Scottish local government as part of Strand 2 of the inquiry. This seminar took place at the Scottish Parliament on Monday 10 September 2012.
The seminar was also webcast. You can view a recording of the seminar on the Parliament's website.
An open Q&A session in which members of the public, as well as those attending the seminar, participated by submitting questions to be posed to a panel of invited guests, took part during the seminar.
Questions and comments submitted on Twitter are available on the Committee's Twitter site: @SP_LocalGovt. See hashtag: #SPbenchmarking.
Presentations made by speakers at the seminar are also available to view:
Written and Oral Evidence
The Committee launched a call for evidence on the three-strand inquiry in December 2011. The call for evidence closed on 17th February 2012.
Read the written submissions received
The Committee took oral evidence at its meetings on 12 September 2012 and 31 October 2012.
Read the meeting papers and Official Report 12 September 2012
Read the meeting papers and Official Report 31 October 2012
The Committee received the following written submissions for the above meetings:
The Committee published its report on the inquiry on 28 November 2012:
You can also see the press release which accompanies the report:
The programme for the seminar is available below:
LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND REGENERATION COMMITTEE
Public Services Reform Inquiry: Strand 2 – Benchmarking and Performance Measurement
Monday 10th September 2012
9.15 am - Arrival, Registration & Coffee
9.30am - Welcome & Purpose of the Workshop
9.35am - What is Benchmarking?: Dr Clive Grace – Honorary Research Fellow, Cardiff University Business School
9.50am - Improving Local Government Benchmarking In Scotland – SOLACE and Improvement Service
10.10am - The Local Government Experience of Benchmarking in Wales – Andrew Stephens, Executive Director, Local Government Data Unit Wales
10.30am - Question and Answer session with the morning’s speakers
11am - Break
11.15am - Breakout Session:Issues and Challenges in Benchmarking and Performance Measurement and how they can be overcome
12.30am - Lunch
1.45pm - Workshop feedback from facilitators on the morning’s breakout session
2.15pm - Taking Benchmarking and Performance Measurement Forward: Martin Walker, Assistant Director, Best Value and Scrutiny Improvement Group, Audit Scotland
2.35pm - Taking Benchmarking and Performance Measurement Forward: Issues and Next Steps: Discussion session
3.15pm - break
3.40pm - Next Steps
4pm - Close
Dr Clive Grace – Honorary Research Fellow, Cardiff University Business School
Clive is a former Chief Executive of Torfaen County Borough Council in Wales, and former Director-General of the Audit Commission in Wales. His portfolio now spans the academic, commercial, public, and professional sectors. He is Chair of the Research Council’s Shared Services Centre Ltd which runs all the Research Council back office and grants operations, and is taking on the back office for the Department of Innovation and business and its Partner Organisations. He is also Chair of the BT Wales Board, and a Non-Executive Director of Nominet, the steward of the 9m .uk domain names.
He is currently advising the Tunisian Government on the design of a public services benchmarking system to support the move to federal governance and the challenge of regional economic development and poverty reduction, and the Nepal Government on civil service reform.
He is an Honorary Research Fellow at Cardiff Business School, and an Honorary Life Member of both the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and also of SOLACE.
He is a qualified lawyer, and has a Doctorate from the University of Oxford, a Master's degree from the University of California, a Bachelor's degree from the University of Birmingham, and a management qualification from the Open University.
Andrew Stephens – Executive Director, Local Government Data Unit Wales
Andrew is the Executive Director of the Local Government Data Unit ~ Wales. The Data Unit is part of the local government family in Wales. It provides a range of support to the Welsh Local Government Association, Welsh local authorities and their partners. Areas where the Unit provides support and input include: survey design and analysis; data collection, management and dissemination; performance measurement and management; benchmarking; and IT system development and support. The Unit either leads or plays an active role in a number of networks within Wales.
In addition to having overall responsibility for the day to day management of the Data Unit, Andrew represents Welsh local government on a number of strategic and working groups. Prior to moving to the Data Unit, Andrew held a variety of posts in the Office for National Statistics, including managing large data collections, statistical methodology and quality, and developing national statistics policies.
Martin Walker, Assistant Director, Best Value and Scrutiny Improvement Group, Audit Scotland
Martin is an Assistant Director in Audit Scotland’s Best Value and Scrutiny Improvement Group. The Best Value and Scrutiny Improvement Group delivers Best Value Audit Reports on councils, fire and rescue services and, in conjunction with HMICS, police boards and forces. The group also produces overview reports on local government, police and fire, statutory reports and thematic reports in the ‘How Councils Work’ series as well as co-ordinating the shared risk assessment process and statutory performance indicators. Martin joined Audit Scotland in 2004 having previously worked in councils for fourteen years in various roles.
Born and brought up in Oldham, Martin studied Economics and Industrial Relations at Leeds University before moving to Scotland in 1990. He is married, has two sons and when not auditing enjoys spending his spare time based around his family, football and music.