Office for Local Government established – RSN keen to compare figures

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Michael Gove announced on Tuesday 4 July 2023 that the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities had established the Office for Local Government (Oflog).  The purpose of the new office is to provide authoritative and accessible data and analysis about the performance of Local Government whilst supporting its improvement.

Its strategic objectives include ‘empowering citizens with information about their local authority, enabling them to hold local leaders to account, increase local leaders’ and councils’ understanding of their relative performance, supporting them to improve and better innovate, and to increase central government’s understanding of local government performance, highlighting excellence and identifying risk of failure to facilitate timely and targeted support.’

As part of the establishment of Oflog, a Local Authority Data Explorer Tool was launched that currently presents data on a small number of relevant metrics in the following service areas:

  • adult social care
  • adult skills
  • waste
  • finance

These metrics were chosen in collaboration with Local Authorities and their representatives.  The design of the service areas and metrics presented within the Data Explorer will be developed with the assistance of local government partners, taking into account new and updated datasets and user needs.

The Rural Services Network has long understood the importance of performance benchmarking in the management of local services and has itself devoted an area of the RSNonline website to the presentation of a number of Local Authority collected statistical datasets on waste, council tax, planning and benefits.  We will look to develop this area of work both to unpack some the data presented in Oflog’s Data Explorer from a rural view and to take on suggestions from our member authorities.

One of our members has already asked if it is possible to collect and compare customer service statistics across the RSN membership.  If your authority is collecting such information and would be interested in a benchmarking tool to compare against other similar rural authorities, please get in touch with RSN’s Research and Finance Analyst, Dan Worth (  Alternatively, if there is other collected data that would be fruitfully analysed for the benefit of the Rural Service Network membership, do not hesitate to let Dan know, as he continues to take this area of work forward.


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