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Mirror, Mirror… Reflecting Improvement through Review and Challenge
New research into the effectiveness of internal mechanisms of review and challenge, including scrutiny, standards and audit committees
Councils need to demonstrate that their governance arrangements include effective mechanisms for internal review and challenge to improve decision making, make better use of resources, increase transparency and support accountability. Robust internal review and challenge is essential for good local government as councils face the challenges of reduced government funding, the freedoms and responsibilities of localism, and new ways of working with partners.
Mirror, mirror... is for council members and officers who recognise the need to improve review and challenge approaches. The principles described in this report can help improve internal review and challenge, prepare councils for localism and self-regulation and help councils demonstrate to local people that these approaches make a positive difference to governance of their areas.
Based on research by the Office of Public Management and fieldwork with eight councils, the report sets out a number of key principles for effective review and challenge and a self-assessment to help councils evaluate their own effectiveness.