Annual Performance Improvement Report - Newry, Mourne and Down District Council 2023-24

1.            Councils have statutory responsibility to improve their functions.  These responsibilities are collectively referred to as Performance Improvement. As Local Government Auditor, I am required to perform an improvement audit and assessment each year and summarise the findings of work I have conducted during the year in this report.

2.            I am satisfied that the Council has discharged its statutory performance improvement reporting duties, and that it has acted in accordance with the legislation and guidance.  No statutory recommendations  or special inspections  were required at the Council this year.

3.            The Council’s improvement plan, published in July 2023, set out its improvement objectives.  My audit work considered both the 2023-24 improvement plan and the 2022-23 self-assessment report.

4.            I am also required to make an assessment of whether in my view the Council is likely to comply with Part 12 of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 2014 during 2023-24. I have concluded that the Council is likely to discharge its duties in respect of Part 12 of the Act during 2023-24 and has demonstrated a track record of improvement. 

5.            In my report to the Council, I outlined one new proposal for improvement.  Matters such as these, if accepted and implemented, will, I believe, assist the Council to meet its performance improvement responsibilities, and also help to ensure that the work it does is transparent and meaningful to citizens. 

6.            Legislation requires the comparison of performance improvement information amongst councils so far as is reasonably practicable. As with other councils, limited progress has been made on this matter. Progress on this issue would allow a broader range of functions to be compared to support councils with their General Duty to Improve in accordance with the legislation. I acknowledge that delays to this process were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.


7.            You should be able to access more specific and detailed information in relation to the work that your Council is undertaking to meet its improvement responsibilities on its website, or you can contact it directly.


Colette Kane 

Local Government Auditor            

29 March 2024