A recent Local Government White Paper set out a new performance framework for local services beyond 2008. Central to this new framework is the Corporate Area Assessment (CAA) which will replace the current Comprehensive Area Assessment in April 2009.
The CAA is intended to be more relevant to local people, focusing on what matters in an area and to whom. It will focus on outcomes rather than processes, looking across local government, housing, health, education and community safety assessing the place as whole, rather than the individual bodies responsible for local services.
The CAA will comprise of:
- an annual publication of the performance of all areas against all the measures in the single set of around 200 national indicators;
- an Annual Risk Assessment for every area – to be delivered jointly by the Audit Commission working with other inspectorates;
- an annual scored Direction of Travel judgement for every local authority which assesses the effectiveness of each local authority in driving continuous improvement;
- an annual scored Use of Resources judgement for all local authorities, Primary Care Trusts, Fire and Rescue Authorities and Police Authorities by the Audit Commission, building on the current such judgements to provide public, independent assurance about the organisational effectiveness of these key local partners.