Concern has been raised that the new “light touch” comprehensive area assessment is placing as much regulatory burden on authorities as its predecessor.
Councils are receiving multiple requests for the same information, while the government’s failure to put information national indicator scores on the ‘data hub’ is placing additional pressure on councils, the Local Government Association said.
The LGA is currently conducting a survey of councils about their experiences of CAA.
Programme director Corin Thomson said: “It would be unfair to make a full judgement on CAA until we have had a full year but there is a real concern about burden.
“The most concern is around the use of resources assessment.”
Ms Thomson added that while the process was not necessarily proving more consuming than the comprehensive performance assessment, councils had been expecting a reduction in burden under the new regime.
Some senior local government officers privately expressed frustration with the whole process rather than just the burden.
One chief executive described how he “exploded” with rage during a recent meeting with his CAA lead, which he said was “gratuitously offensive”. He added: “I have less faith in CAA than I did 12 months ago.”
Chair of the LGA Improvement Board, David Parsons (Con), said “The key issue for us is whether the assessments are credible - and whether, in the current climate, they provide value for money. At the moment the jury is still out.”
Councils are currently going through a round of preliminary discussions about their scores over the summer with a final score scheduled for 10 December.