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Tag Archives: transparency

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NAO report – Assurance to Parliament on local government funding

On 25 June, the National Audit Office (NAO) published a report “Local government funding: Assurance to Parliament”. The report examines funding granted to local authorities in 2013-14, considering the mechanisms in place to ensure value for money and that it is spent legally and “regularly” (including considering conditions attached to grants). This briefing summarises the report and provides a commentary on it, within the context of the changing local government finance system. It will interest to members and officers with local government finance responsibilities. It may also be of interest to officers and members who provide transparency and value for money data to the public and to scrutiny bodies.

Open Government Partnership UK National Action Plan 2013 to 2015

The UK government published its Open Government Partnership (OGP) UK Action Plan 2013 to 2015 on 31 October 2013 at the Annual Summit 2013 in London.
The action plan outlines twenty one government commitments to improve transparency, participation and accountability.
The government published its first OGP National Action Plan in September 2011 and a self-assessment in April 2013.
An independent assessment took place in August 2013.
This briefing provides an overview of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), the UK 2011 Plan and a summary of each of the 2013 to 2015 commitments.
It will be of interest to a broad spectrum of members and officers in all tiers of councils, in particular those leading on civil society engagement, open data and transparency, service transformation, digital technology, standards and procurement.

A White Paper on Social Media in Local Government

A White Paper on Social Media in Local Government considers what holds back senior council managers and staff from using social media more extensively, and looks at how West Midlands councils have used them to connect with the public, and “open up traditional public sector silos”.

On Your Radar April 2013

On Your Radar provides regular updates on information from central government and other key organisations; looks back over the last period, ahead at what could be hitting the headlines and comments on issues relevant to local government that will be influencing the political landscape over the coming months.

Upcoming briefings and links to key March briefings
Government and government bodies consultations
Local election coverage

Public Accounts Committee report – Implementing the transparency agenda

The Public Accounts Committee has published a report on the Government’s transparency agenda concluding that while it has met the majority of its commitments, large quantities of raw data are being released without ensuring that it is fit for purpose; with the Government yet to develop a full understanding of the cost and benefits of making information transparent.

– The report also makes a number of observations about how transparency is working in local government notably around consistency between councils and whether the information being published (or not) is supporting user choice.

– This briefing will be of interest to all executive members, cabinet portfolio members and senior officers both in corporate services (particularly in procurement, HR, finance and communication) and frontline services.

Pickles invites bloggers deeper into the Town Hall

England, UK .  16.7.2012. London .  House of Commons. Local Government Parliamentary Reception.

Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Local Government and Communities, seems to love transparency. Back in June 2010 he asked councils to publish all spending data over £500. His department matched it and just last week announced they were lowering …

Soon all spending data over £250 will be published online

Since August 2010 the Department for Communities and Local Government  has been publishing details of all goods and services spent over £500 – matching a demand it made of councils in June of that year. Now it appears Eland House …

What Impact Has FoI Had on Local Democracy?

This article was first published by the Huffington Post. Last week the Constitution Unit at UCL published a fascinating report, Town Hall Transparency, assessing the impact that Freedom of Information has had on local democracy and government in England. The study …

C’llr Awards 2012: Scrutineer of the Year

As the judges of last year’s Scrutineer of the Year award observed, it can be hard to pin-down exactly what we mean when we talk about ‘effective scrutiny’. On the one hand, we might view scrutiny as a purely process-oriented …

Transparency, what transparency?

John Fowler takes a sceptical look at the DfE’s transparency website.