In England, the Local Government White Paper Strong Local Government - Quality Public Services detailed the introduction of comprehensive performance assessment (CPA) for local authorities.
The Audit Commission's role in CPA has been to form a judgement on the performance and proven corporate capacity of all local authorities.
Once a judgement has been formed, the Audit Commission has produced a scorecard for every authority, which is available to the public (see link below).
In April 2009 a new inspection regime for councils replaced the CPA. The comprehensive area assessment (CAA) provides an independent assessment of how well people are being served by their local public services. It focuses on how well these services, working together, are achieving improvement and progressing towards long-term goals.
CAA reflects findings by the Audit Commission, Care Quality Commission, Ofsted and Her Majesty's Inspectorates of Constabulary, Prisons and Probation, as appropriate.
While the Area Assessment comments on how well services are working together for Dudley Borough, its residents and service users, there are also individual Organisational Assessments of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority, Dudley Primary Care Trust and West Midlands Police Authority.
Organisational Assessments are given a score, based on, as a minimum, managing finances, governing the business and managing resources.
The Area Assessment is not scored but may contain green flags indicating exceptional performance and/or innovation, or red flags indicating unsatisfactory progress and the need for additional measures.