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Formula Funding of Local Public Services

12 View(s), published at 2011-07-20, written by Great Britain: National Audit Office, published by The Stationery Office
Formula Funding of Local Public Services

Formula funding of local public services by Great Britain: National Audit Office The complexity of the formulae used by government departments to provide funding to local public bodies is partly down to the nature of the services being funded, and partly to the fact that the formu.... Published date on: 2011-07-20 with total page: 38 pages. Publisher of Formula Funding of Local Public Services is The Stationery Office.

The complexity of the formulae used by government departments to provide funding to local public bodies is partly down to the nature of the services being funded, and partly to the fact that the formulae attempt to achieve multiple objectives. The different approaches to formula funding have evolved over time, but key choices in the design and operation of the formulae remain open to question. Of the three funding arrangements on which it reports, the NAO concludes that the Department for Education and the Department for Communities and Local Government have not set out clearly, or explicitly prioritised, their multiple objectives for the design and distribution of Dedicated Schools Grant and Formula Grant. This prevents analysis of the extent to which the formulae represent the best way to satisfy objectives. Each of the formulae is grounded in an assessment of relative needs, but other aspects of their design differ. All of the funding arrangements include provisions to ensure funding stability. Stability reduces budget variation from year to year, making financial planning and stable service provision less problematic. But this has led to some local bodies being funded for extended periods significantly above or below needs-assessed levels. Population data are the biggest determinants of funding, and Departments use the most current data available. As many inputs are census-based, a quarter of those used in Formula Grant and ten per cent of those used for Primary Care Trust allocations, are based on data sources that are now ten or more years old.

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