Hart, along with other local authorities, is designated as a Best Value Authority and has a statutory duty to put arrangements in place to secure continuous improvement in the provision of its functions and services to the public.
- From 2001/02 the Labour Government put in place a regular performance assessment regime centred on a National set of Best Value Performance Indicators. These consisted of both service delivery based indicators and corporate health indicators and were reviwed annually until 2008/09.
- External Auditors carried out a range of audits which assess corporate governance issues, such as financial and performance management. These are reported in summary through the annual Audit and Inspection Letter received from the Audit Commission in March each year.
- The inspection regime for local authorities in England and Wales changed from 2008/09. Rather than focus on the performance of individual public bodies, the government elected to assess the ability of all public bodies in an area to work together to deliver quality services to the public.
- This assessment framework was called Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA) and in our area looked at the work of local councils, the health services, fire and police authorities and voluntary organisations who provide services to the public through the Hampshire Local Area Agreement (LAA).
- The Liberal/Conservative Coalition Government abolished CAA and also announced the removal of the Audit Commission as the principal inspection and Audit body for England & Wales. The Audit Commission's Financial Auditing functions are to be re-allocated to commercial auditing companies.
- As of 2011/12 local government inspection and performance management is under review awaiting the announcement of new government policy.
By measuring our performance against national standards, and by benchmarking our performance against similar local authorities, we seek to improve service delivery and value for money for our residents and businesses.
The OnePlace website provides an assessment of how we and our partners have performed and allows residents to see whether they are getting good value for money from their local services. It also provides the means to compare our performance with other local authorities to see how Hart performs relative to our neighbours or to councils across the country. There is a link to OnePlace in the "Useful Websites" panel to the right.
Update March 2011: In the light of the changes which the 2010-2014 Coalition Government is implementing, it is not certain whether the OnePlace website will continue to be updated.