Pressure for LGA peer review to be strengthened
Senior Local Government Association (LGA) figures are pushing the organisation to beef up its peer review offer to help neutralise the threat from Oflog.
MPs demand answers on Oflog independence
MPs have called for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to outline the degree of independence the Office for Local Government (Oflog) will have.
Curating a good council and government system
Ed Hammond says Oflog has the potential to make Government's actions and interventions more predictable and evidence-based.
Gove hints at Autumn Statement gifts
Levelling up secretary Michael Gove hinted Christmas may come early for councils when Jeremy Hunt unveils his Autumn Statement this week.
A call for clarity on Oflog
The Office for Local Government has sparked a flurry of passionate views within the sector. Stuart Hoddinott calls for clarity over how it will balance a more interventionist approach alongside a role as a ‘good faith convenor’ of councils.
Peer reviews: The heat is on
Is corporate peer review a robust enough way to predict the risks of a future section 114 or is it just one improvement tool in a system of assurance? Dan Peters examines the evidence.
Too many cuts could drain councils of their services
Heather Jameson says: ‘The question for ministers is not just ‘which councils face financial collapse’? It is also ‘which councils have cut so much that local services will suffer?’
EXCLUSIVE: Oflog pushes ahead with early warning system
Senior Oflog officials are pressing ahead with their plans to create an early warning system for councils in trouble despite continuing Local Government Association (LGA) resistance, The MJ understands.
Oflog appoints permanent chief executive
Josh Goodman has been confirmed as the permanent chief executive of the Office for Local Government (Oflog).
Oflog moves to expand remit
The new Office for Local Government (Oflog) watchdog has proposed to widen its scope to five new service areas.
Keeping a closer eye on the data
Are councils making use of data to streamline services? Certainly the Government, in launching Oflog, believes there is more potential. At a recent round table debate data experts from local authorities discussed the challenges. Martin Ford reports on the highlights.
The trouble with Oflog
Council senior officers are broadly united in their view that Oflog will not provide warning of local authority failure or improve performance. But what do five experts from the sector think about the Government’s new assurance watchdog?
Healey: Government 'right to intervene'
Government was right to intervene in failing authorities, a senior civil servant has insisted.
New assurance regime needs to be ‘far more useful’
According to the results of the Solace survey, no one thinks Oflog does the job and most think it should be scrapped, says Heather Jameson. 'When it comes to what would work, there is a clear answer. Make audit better', she adds.
Oflog fails to satisfy sector
As council chiefs gather in Birmingham, a survey of Solace members provides virtual unanimity that the Government’s Oflog plans will fail to improve performance and reduce financial dangers. Paul Marinko assesses the findings.
Chiefs split on need for improved assurance but united in Oflog discontent
Senior council officers are split on whether improved assurance measures are needed but broadly agree Oflog will fail to improve performance or warn of failure.
Shaping the future at the Summit
Matt Prosser says while there has never been a more challenging time to work in local government, next month’s Solace Summit in Birmingham provides an ideal chance to come together and collaborate.
Upholding the good name of local government
The Government says Oflog will be using data ‘to prompt questions – not judgements’. But, with nervousness in the sector that ‘excessive intervention’ remains a risk, Dan Peters assesses the landscape.
Be bold and better
Oflog may be the Government’s plan for improvement, but Cllr Abi Brown suggests the local government family has a better option – and it should shout about its achievements.
Many councils are finding their own solutions in a time of crises
The media has been full of negative stories about local government, says Graeme McDonald. A more strategic, collaborative approach is desperately required if the sector is to be ready to deal with the next crisis, he argues.