The Local Government Benchmarking Framework (LGBF) brings together a wide range of information about how all Scottish councils perform in delivering services to local communities.
Benchmarking is an improvement process that helps organisations understand how they perform in comparison to other, similar organisations. In order to work well it needs to be a systematic and rigorous process designed to help organisations learn together.
As such, all Scottish local authorities have worked together to report standard information on the services they provide which can be compared across councils and year-on-year. This information takes the form of specific 'indicators' that measure aspects of performance, for example, how much a service costs per user or how satisfied local people are with a service. The indicators cover seven service areas which together account for 60% of local government spending. These service areas are children, corporate, adult social care, culture and leisure, environmental, housing and economic development.
The purposes of the Local Government Benchmarking Framework are:
The current framework contains data from 2010-2014. An overview report outlining trends across Scotland and the factors affecting those trends is also available.
Family groups have been set up by councils to support the meaningful interpretation of the LGBF data and to identify and share good service practice. The aim is to promote dialogue between councils on where good practice lies and to share it across councils. In doing to, the intention is to better understand factors that each council can control in improving its costs against its performance achievements. The benchmarking data on its own does not identify how to improve a service but gives councils the context within which they can explore and better understand issues and a platform through which they can learn from established good practice.
Family groups based on factors such as population density and deprivation were agreed to provide a structure for similar councils to come together to drill-down into the benchmarking data. These groupings allow councils facing similar challenges to share good practice and work together to improve their services.
Following evaluation of a pilot approach testing the dynamics and methodology of the family group benchmarking activity, the process has been streamlined, guidance/training has been produced to support family groups, and a more comprehensive schedule of activity has been planned to embed benchmarking across all service areas where there is not already existing benchmarking activity. The schedule for the next year of family group benchmarking activity is set out below:
The Improvement Service will continue to work with these family groups providing support and ensuring that learning and good practice is shared with everyone.
Senior Project Manager
Tel. 01506 283811
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