DLO & Performance Review

Ridge was appointed by Oxford City Council (OCC) to conduct a fundamental service review of commissioning, management and property maintenance relating to the Housing Service. This project involved the assessment of the data available to inform a local authority self-financing business plan and to consider and report upon aspects of operational performance in respect of asset management.

A key part of this wider project was to undertake a review of the performance of their in-house Direct Labour Organisation (DLO), responsible for providing repairs and maintenance services.

Having undertaken a number of similar reviews elsewhere, Ridge has developed a best-practice review methodology and a unique range of benchmarks that can be used to assess the performance and efficiency of in-house contractor providers. These independent assessments help to determine value for money and the wider non-financial benefits of retaining a DLO, so that a client’s 30 year business plan can be sustained.

At OCC we worked to agree an assessment methodology, to gather the necessary business and performance data and then to model this and compare the results with best practice expectations and external benchmarks. In line with most of our reviews, our report identified areas for further action and potential improvement to help increase efficiency and the value provided to the internal client, as well as helping to improve satisfaction with the Service as a whole.

For other clients, such as South Essex Homes, Ridge has been asked to externalise or market test DLO services (including the implications of TUPE). Elsewhere, such as Cornwall Council and Colchester Borough Homes, we have been asked to assist with the formation of new in-house service providers, where VAT savings can sometimes be obtained, especially for Registered Providers.


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