Ministers have published a draft list of data sets government departments will require councils to collect from April 2011, amidst concerns of increased burdens being placed on councils.
The list, which you can see here, “will provide in one place a single, clear list of the minimum data central government needs from local authorities” and be open to review.
It includes some 147 indicators from DCLG, Department of Health, the Department for Education and others, of which 15 are classed as new.
The raft of new policies has contributed to the new indicators required with plans for data collections on community budgets, neighbourhood plans, new mutuals and co-operatives all on the list.
Other new indicators could include one for special educational needs, following an imminent green paper, and new information on safeguarding.
The Department for Communities & Local Government said more detail on other central departments’ collections would be published on 22 December
The list follows the Local Government Association raising concerns that councils could be forced to collect data for more than 20 new indicators, including core measures of the government’s Big Society agenda.
The fears were raised after the LGA completed an analysis of the data requirements contained in each Whitehall department’s business plans which found a potential 24 new indicators that could require data to be provided by councils.
Juliet Whitworth, a function lead in the LGA’s analysis and research team, said at the time that the compilation criteria for many of the indicators were vague and that her “long list” “looked a lot worse than hopefully it is”.
The research followed LGA chairman Baroness Margaret Eaton (Con) writing to communities secretary Eric Pickles claiming that asking each department to come up with a set of outcome and productivity measures risked “reversing the good progress that has already been made”.