RE: Local Authorities (Overview and Scrutiny) Bill
One positive out of all this is a passage from the impact assessment on "the benefits of overview and scrutiny." It could usefully be quoted to any inspectocrats who come our way:
"There is no available evidence on the monetised value efficiencies or otherwise arising from local authority led scrutiny, save to say that respondents to the CfPS (2008) Survey largely regarded such scrutiny as being 'effective'. Nevertheless, some case study evidence is also available which demonstrates the impact that effective scrutiny can have on service provision.
The particular constraints to quantifying the benefits of scrutiny include: (i) scrutiny committees cannot make binding requirements they can only make recommendations; (ii) the very mixed nature and scope of any outcomes resulting from scrutiny pose particular measurement problems; and (iii) it would be difficult to distinguish the exact impact of scrutiny from other processes at work.
Nevertheless, it does seem reasonable to argue that local authority-led scrutiny and the threat of such scrutiny can lead to the better use of local public sector resources. For instance, a review which benchmarks the performance of a local service against other better performing authorities should drive improvement in performance. In the case of partnerships, benefits could arise from improved joint working across individual partners through improved coordination of activities."