Councils are facing increasing service demands at a time of cost and public funding pressures. To meet these challenges they need to consider different options for delivering services. Many councils use what are known as “arm’s-length external organisations” (ALEOs) to deliver services such as sports and leisure, buildings management, and older people’s care.
The Commission noted in its 2011 How Councils Work report Arm’s-length external organisations (ALEOs): are you getting it right? that it is not always clear whether ALEOs have met their objectives. The Commission has also noted that while councils’ governance of ALEOs is improving, there is still some variation across councils. This audit aims to give public assurance over councils’ use of ALEOs and the extent to which they are achieving their intended benefits. The report will also help to share good practice and lessons learned between councils.