Monday, 5 October 2015

Interesting... even if possibly a little biased.

From The Electoral Reform Society:

Councils dominated by single parties could be wasting as much as £2.6bn a year through a lack of scrutiny of their procurement processes, according to a new report for us released today.

The study – undertaken by Cambridge University academic Mihály Fazekas – is titled The Cost of One-Party Councils and looks at the savings in contracting between councils dominated by a single party (or with a significant number of uncontested seats), and more competitive councils...

The report also measures councils’ procurement process against a ‘Corruption Risk Index’ - and finds that one-party councils are around 50% more at risk of corruption than politically competitive councils. The corruption risk of competitive councils compared to those dominated by one party is similar to the difference between the average Swedish municipality and the average Estonian municipality. This doesn’t bode well for democracy or council coffers.

And it’s no small-scale study. It uses ‘big data’ to look at 132,000 public procurement contracts between 2009 and 2013 to identify ‘red flags’ for corruption, such as where only a single bid is submitted or there is a shortened length of time between advertising the bid and the submission deadline.


Bayard said...

I'll say. Down here the County Council has been dominated by one party for years and was described as "having some of the most spineless, incompetent and venal councillors in Britain," by Private Eye and they've seen quite a few examples of the breed.

mombers said...

I recall seeing a study showing another quite obvious and interesting phenomenon. Local governments that raise most of their revenue themselves tend to be better run than those just get a handout from central government. If people paid 4 times as much council tax, i.e. if central government grant was taken away, I'm sure people would be a lot more interested in better government.