local government benchmarking framework improvement service solace cosla

Frequently Asked Questions

Find your answers here

Below are a list of questions that are either commonly asked of benchmarking projects generally plus some specific questions you may have on this project. Simply click on the question and a relevant response will appear on screen.

About the Benchmarking Project

1. What is benchmarking?

2. What is the difference between a benchmark and benchmarking?

3. Why should councils take part in benchmarking?

4. What benefits does benchmarking offer?

5. How does benchmarking work?

6. Why haven't councils done benchmarking before?

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About the indicators

7. Will benchmarking data be published annually from now on?

8. Whose role is it to gather and publish the data?

9. Are these the only performance measures councils will use from now on?

10. Why are there so few indicators in the suite?

11. When will you review the indicators?

12. Why is there only two years worth of data?

13. How were the indicators selected?

14. Where does the finance data come from?

15. If an issue is not covered by an indicator, does that mean it is not important?

16. Why is there no data for Looked After Children for 2011-12?

17. What are corporate support services?

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About the Framework's robustness

18. How is the data being audited? What's the role of Audit Scotland?

19. Who will lead comparison and improvement work between councils?

20. Will help be available to the smaller authorities to analyse, learn and implement new processes?

21. How will we make sure councils are interpreting / using the data consistently?

22. Why not compare to other UK councils or organisations?

23. How will this information change the way councils report their performance?

24. What are local Public Performance reports? Where can I find the PPR for my council?

25. When will you review the project?

26. How will we know if the project has been successful?

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About the results

27. The performance data for council service 'X' in my area seems to differ with the latest reports I've seen from HMIE for example, why is that?

28. My council quotes much higher customer satisfaction rates than is shown in the benchmarking data, why the discrepancy?

29. Which are the best / worst performing councils overall?

30. Why do councils which deliver the same services achieve different performance results?

31. Who's getting the best results for the least money?

32. Can you identify a 'best in class' council for each indicator?

33. Will councils report on their own performance fairly?

34. What information will be contained in 2013 PPRs? Why less than 2014?

35. When will family groups be established?

36. Why are you only making the data available online?

37. How easy is it for the public to access the information about their own council?

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General questions

38. Have councils got time and resources to use this data / learn from each other effectively?

39. Is this just creating extra work for councils whose resources are increasingly stretched?

40. How much has the project cost the taxpayer so far?

41. How much will it cost to run the benchmarking project each year?

42. Who is funding the benchmarking?

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© Improvement Service, 2017