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Asset Management benchmarking

Background

The Consortium of Local Authorities in Wales (CLAW) wanted to rationalise the different streams of asset management data that was being collected. Their aim was to develop a single set of measures that would be collected nationally. The set would meet the needs of local government in Wales but also allow for comparison with English authorities. The streams of work that were being undertaken were:

  • The benchmarking indicators already developed by CLAW;
  • The Performance Indicators (PIs) already developed under the Performance Measurement framework; and
  • CORPROP (Association of Chief Corporate Property Officers in Local Government) benchmarking indicators.

The work was commissioned by the Consortium of Local Authorities in Wales (CLAW).

What were the anticipated benefits?


The aim of the project was to develop a single set of measures that would enable local government in Wales to benchmark effectively. The principle anticipated benefits were:

  • A broader set of data developed for use by local authorities;
  • A robust dataset which allowed for meaningful analysis;
  • A mechanism which allowed authorities to compare their performance;
  • An evidence base to inform local and national discussions;
  • To support service improvement across Wales;
  • To share practice in service delivery; and
  • To improve the overall performance of asset management.

     

The Data Unit has done a superb job of data collection and analysis for the authorities in Wales. It has supported the Consortium in our analysis, and facilitated our benchmarking to drive improvement… the exercise has proved extremely worthwhile over the years.  

Gareth Nutt, the Chairman of the Board of Nominated Officers of CLAW

Why was the Data Unit asked to do the work?

We were asked to lead the project because of our expertise in the use of data and our experience of developing national performance measures. CLAW were aware of our expertise in collecting, collating and presenting data from work we did previously with their members to develop performance indicators for the Performance Measurement Framework (PMF); we have a good understanding of this service area.

What did we do?

In order to undertake the work, we:

  • facilitated discussions at the performance sub group to ensure that the final set of data was clearly defined and met the needs of local government and its regulators;
  • developed the data collection forms which contained comprehensive in-form validation to ensure data quality and reliability;
  • ensured that the data set was fully validated using our well-developed quality assurance checking process;
  • disseminated the data via Gwion, our data dissemination tool, which allowed authorities to customise their selection and to view the data in charts and graphs; and
  • added value to the exercise by carrying out additional analysis of the data; the annual report we created helped authorities interpret ‘the story’ behind the data.

     

What were the outcomes?

Since the work started in 2004, we have seen greater consistency and quality in the data collected and shared. CLAW members use the data to plan and deliver their service more effectively. The data is used by authorities to evidence improvement. The project has informed discussions at a local and national level and has enabled authorities to identify differences in local policy and practice.

The benchmarking model used for this project is now being used as the approach to Service Improvement Datasets (SIDs) in the National Performance Improvement Framework for local authorities in Wales.

Contact – for more information

Ana Harries