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JUST CAPITAL REPORT WELCOMED

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The local authority associations described today's Just Capital report from the Audit Commission as a useful guide ...
The local authority associations described today's Just Capital report from the Audit Commission as a useful guide for local authorities of the pitfalls of managing capital projects and the ways in which authorities can develop good project management.

Although the commission has found evidence of both good and bad practice, they themselves point out that 'given the difficulties experienced by local authorities in managing their projects in the face of limited and uncertain resources, their level of success in doing so is noteworthy.'

The commission go on to say their report ' also shows the methods by which central government influences the capital resources available to local authorities significantly affect their ability to achieve economy, efficiency and effectiveness.'

Janet Sillett, ADC finance panel chair said on behalf of the LAAs: 'We not that central government controls over capital resources are to be studied by the Commission in greater detail in phase 2 to be published next year.

'Meanwhile, this report clearly illustrates the decline in real terms of capital expenditure since 1990 - down from more than £8bn to under £7bn this year.

'This cannot be healthy for local authority services or indeed for the economy generally.'

The LAAs add that continuing uncertainty about CCT for building-related services does not help with good project management.

They point out that local authorities have been eager to participate in implementing the Latham report on good practice, but the DOE/CIB have taken some persuading that local government has a significant interest, and should have a seat at the table.'

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