Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Discretionary Housing Payments - Answers at Last

Before we talk about the latest developments I'd recommend that you have a look at these posts for a bit of background first -

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

So there you go, the complete NCCLols history of badgering NCC about DHPs. And you could almost argue that some progress has been made too.

Until now however, there was a sizeable gap in the information we had about how well NCC were doing with DHPs and that was, surprisingly, the total number of applications made to the scheme.

I say surprisingly because surely that is the easiest and most obvious bit of information to record isn't it? How can you manage the performance of any application based scheme if you don't even know how many people have applied to it?

Well, now the Information Commissioner's Office has told NCC to spill those beans so we can finally complete the table we started so long ago back in Part 1.

The key result of this is that we can at last see the success rates of appliations to the scheme.

As you can see, and as we suspected before, application success rates were decidedly low despite a massive underspend of the budget. Ignoring the first and last years in the table (neither are typical, see notes on chart for reasons) we can see that the success rate varied between 21.2% and 41.4%. 2005/6 sticks out, having the highest number of applications (569) and the second lowest success rate (25%) despite only 23% of the budget having been spent. And this despite that budget having been reduced two years in a row prior to this year.

The only silver lining is that the success rates of applications does appear to have risen in later years, although I'm not at all confident of the figures for 2008/9. However, we can probably afford to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one.

I've not had the final decision from the ICO yet, these figures came direct from NCC on the instructions of the ICO. I may write a bit more if that throws up any more interesting issues.

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