Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance


Insights provide detailed commentary and analysis on current issues and developments affecting public financial management and governance.

Performance Tracker 2021 

Performance tracker 2021 (PDF, 6.16MB)

This Institute for Government/CIPFA report assesses how nine public services in England – hospitals, GPs, adult social care, police, criminal courts, prisons, schools, children's social care and neighbourhood services – have coped with the coronavirus crisis and what pressures they are expected to face over the next three years.

CIPFA report on global perspectives on universal basic income 

Global perspectives on universal basic income (PDF, 2.21MB)

This report explores what effect the pandemic has had on universal basic income (UBI) programmes and what the future may hold for them. It also reflects on the potential impacts that a policy such as UBI may have on public finances and how these might be addressed.

The future financial sustainability of health and social care 

The future financial sustainability of health and social care (PDF, 313KB)

This briefing builds on a joint HFMA and CIPFA roundtable discussion on the Health and Care Bill. It considers whether the bill enables the change that the health and social care system needs, both in the short term as the country seeks to recover from the pandemic and in the longer term as the sector more fully addresses population health and wellbeing.

CIPFA report on VfM analysis for public managers 

A guide to support Value for Money (VfM) analysis for public managers (PDF, 293KB)

Funded by the Engagement Fellowship grant from the University of Oxford's Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF), this guide complements the separately published VfM toolkit. Both are the result of a collaborative project between CIPFA and the Government Outcomes Lab (GO Lab).

CIPFA report on the art of local government reorganisation 

The art of local government reorganisation (PDF, 161KB)

Following CIPFA's The Art of Reorganisation webinar and preceding a publication of the same name due later this year, this paper opens the debate and conversation surrounding local government reorganisation.

Post-COVID-19 scenario planning report by CIPFA Unit 4

Post-COVID-19 scenario planning: a survey sponsored by Unit4 (PDF, 3.43MB)

This report brings together the results of research conducted by CIPFA and sponsored by Unit4 into how local government and others have approached budgeting during the pandemic and how they intend to move forward in a post-COVID-19 world.

CIPFA levelling up report cover

Addressing regional inequalities: levelling to where? (PDF, 6.36MB)

The government's levelling up agenda seeks to expand upon the UK Industrial Strategy's framework, and this report explores what the agenda hopes to achieve ahead of the White Paper expected at the end of 2021.

Local government grants

Local government grants: how effectively do they support communities? (PDF, 2.79MB)

Sponsored by Capita and set in the wider economic and government policy context, this report sets out the complexities of the grant funding landscape, assessing grant disbursement during the pandemic and illustrating some of the issues and inefficiencies inherent in the system.

Facing up to COVID

Facing Up to COVID-19 in the Public Sector: The internal audit response (PDF, 246KB)

This Insight provides some examples of how internal audit teams across different public services have responded to the challenges of COVID-19.

Manchester libraries

Manchester Libraries - Research into how libraries help people with loneliness and isolation (PDF, 767KB)

This report is based on research that shows how Manchester's libraries bring many benefits to the communities they serve and are extremely well used, that residents' health and wellbeing is improved by using the library, and that people feel better when they use their local library.

Performance tracker 2020

Performance Tracker 2020: How public services have coped with coronavirus (PDF, 3.3MB)

Performance Tracker is an ongoing analysis of the performance of public services.

Road to Reform

The Road to Reform (PDF, 312KB)

Discussing COVID-19 as a potential catalyst for change in funding social care.


Financial scrutiny practice guide

Financial Scrutiny Practice Guide(PDF, 174KB)

Providing guidance on how to integrate an awareness of financial scrutiny for England councils and councillors.

Setting Common Definitions

Internal Audit Engagement Opinions: Setting common definitions (PDF, 218KB)

Considering the use of opinions on engagements completed by internal audit

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The Case for Reform (PDF, 429KB)

Developing a council tax fit for the 21st century.

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Gender Budgeting for Public Finance(PDF, 315KB)

Written by Angela O'Hagan with additional content from the Women's Budget Group

Making sure public spending and the provision of services benefit both men and women.

Administration in the LGPS insight cover

Administration in the LGPS: A Guide for Pensions Authorities(PDF, 608KB)
Written in partnership with AON

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Talent Management in Government Finance: Finance Ministries Colloquium Survey Analysis (PDF, 787KB)

Written on behalf of the International Colloquium on Financial Management for National Governments

Changing Children's Lives: Assessing Cost and Demand for Children's Services (PDF, 732KB)

Written by Mike Bennett


Download Building Financial Resilience (PDF, 383KB)

Written by Richard Vize


Download the Levy, Apprenticeships and the Public Sector (PDF, 408 KB)

Written by Neil Merrick

Reality Check

Download Reality Check (PDF, 390 KB)

Next steps in developing sustainability and transformation plans

Accounting for the cloud

Download Accounting for the Cloud (PDF, 1039 KB)

Written by John Thornton (e-ssential Resources) and supported by Microsoft UK

Download Costing the Curriculum: Financial Sustainability in Schools (PDF, 515 KB)

Published jointly by the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) and CIPFA


Download Accountability, Performance and Transformation (PDF, 1 MB)

Learning from the CIPFA FM Model by Graham Marsden


Download Looking Forward (PDF, 705 KB)

Medium-term financial strategies in the UK public sector


Download Easing the Pressure: The Incentive for Early Accounts Closedown (PDF, 468 KB)

Written in association with EY

Download Investing in Council Housing (PDF, 727 KB)

Written by John Perry and Glenn Smith (CIH) and Joanne Pitt (CIPFA)

More medicine

Download More Medicine Needed: The Health of Health Finances Revisited (PDF, 675 KB)

Written by Paul Carey-Kent

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