We have a range of funding streams that support the work that we do. Our work to support local authority overview and scrutiny functions to improve their capacity to hold local decision-makers to account and our role as a national centre of expertise and resources to support the value of public scrutiny and accountability is commissioned and supported by the Local Government Association. Since we were established as a separate organisation the LGA has commissioned us annually to support this work.
This enables us to host the largest on-line library of scrutiny reviews and reports, a range of free publications, an on-line Scrutiny Exchange and discussion forum and regular free briefings and e-newsletters. We also support the national Overview and Scrutiny Forum which brings together practitioners from regional networks with policy-makers and others to influence policy and share practice. In 2011-12, in addition to the above, we provided the following offers for local authorities in partnership with the Local Government Association:
free or subsidised follow-up support to authorities where the effectiveness of member challenge to performance is identified as a weakness in a peer challenge
free or subsidised access to wider governance improvement support using our 'Accountability Works for You' framework and moderated self-assessment
a programme of free or subsidised events, working in partnership with the Local Government Group, to help key local scrutiny chairs and other members develop their skills and capacity to provide effective challenge to performance.
We have also been funded by the Department of Health since 2004 to provide a well-regarded programme of support for scrutiny of healthcare, social care and health improvement. The funding has supported regional scrutiny networks, innovative scrutiny reviews, a diverse range of events and publications. We also run a successful and influential Health Accountability Forum that brings stakeholders from around the country together with policy makers and commentators on a quarterly basis.
For the last two years we have run a programme to develop innovative approaches to tackling health inequalities through public scrutiny, commissioned by Local Government Improvement & Development as part of their Healthy Communities programme funded by the Department of Health. We supported ten Scrutiny Development Areas to gather lessons and are producing a resource-kit. Over the next year we are embedding the learning, evaluating the impact and supporting further SDAs to trial new approaches.
From 2010-12 we were funded by the Department of Work and Pensions to carry out a project to investigate, demonstrate and provide practical guidance on how local overview and scrutiny committees can support older people as part of the Ageing Well programme.
In addition to these major funders, every year we are funded by a wide range of public sector bodies to provide advice, training, expertise and consultancy to help them and their non-executives improve their governance and accountability arrangements, or to develop policy or practical guidance. These have included local authorities, government departments, regulators, universities, a wide range of NHS trusts and authorities, police authorities and others.
We also receive periodic funding to produce practical guides and research publications (for example in 2010-11 we were funded by the Local Authorities and Research Councils Initiative to carry out research into how local authorities and universities could collaborate more effectively together through scrutiny). In addition we generate income through events and sales of some of our publications, although most are available to download free from our website. Any surplus from our activities is ploughed back into the organisation to help us deliver our charitable aims more effectively for the public benefit.