The Concordat and Single Outcome Agreements (Scotland)
The Scottish Government’s concordat agreement with local government (2007) marks a sizeable shift from national to local decision-making.
The development of Single Outcome Agreements (SOAs), where local authorities have greater freedom to set their own priorities, is an important part of these changes.
The Single Outcome Agreement “… will set out the outcomes which each Local Authority is seeking to achieve with its community planning partners. These will reflect local needs, circumstances and priorities, but should be related to the relevant national outcomes” (Scottish Government 2007).
SOAs consist of a mix of national outcomes and local outcomes and indicators, and wordings may vary across authorities. Councils can also develop their own local indicators to sit alongside the existing menu of indicators.
Underpinning the concordat is the concept of partnership working in order to achieve improved outcomes. This partnership approach must be reflected at the community planning level with a recognition that the needs of individuals and communities – if they are to be successfully addressed – have to be addressed collectively.
By April 2009, all SOAs have to encompass the work of not only a local council, but also their Community Planning partners including voluntary sector partners. Community Health Partnerships (CHPs) will have a greater role in developing the SOAs in the second year.