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BestValue

BEST VALUE

Contents:

Scope

Key Points

Background

The Duty of Best Value

Implementing the Duty of Best Value

Scope

1. This section describes the duty of Best Value in Public Services and contains guidance to Accountable Officers on what their organisations should be able to demonstrate in fulfilment of their Best Value duty to secure continuous improvement in the performance of the organisations' functions.

Key Points

2. Accountable Officers appointed by the Principal Accountable Officer for the Scottish Administration (PAO) have a specific responsibility to ensure that arrangements have been made to secure Best Value.

3. The Scottish Ministers expect all Accountable Officers to comply with the duty of Best Value placed upon them.

4. The Boards (or equivalents) of relevant public service organisations have corporate responsibility for promoting the efficient and effective use of staff and other resources by the organisations in accordance with the principles of Best Value.

Background

5. Best Value provides a common framework for continuous improvement in public services in Scotland, and is a key foundation of the Scottish Government's Public Service Reform agenda. Accountable Officers appointed by the Principal Accountable Officer for the Scottish Administration (PAO) have a specific responsibility to ensure that arrangements have been made to secure Best Value. The Scottish Ministers expect all Accountable Officers to comply with the duty of Best Value placed upon them. In addition the Boards (or equivalents) of relevant public service organisations have corporate responsibility for promoting the efficient and effective use of staff and other resources by the organisations in accordance with the principles of Best Value. Under the terms of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 the implementation of the duty of Best Value by relevant public service organisations is subject to scrutiny by the Auditor General for Scotland. Guidance on the implementation of Best Value (see paragraph 8 below) has been produced following extensive consultation with Scotland's public service organisations.

The Duty of Best Value

6. The duty of Best Value in Public Services is as follows:

  • To make arrangements to secure continuous improvement in performance whilst maintaining an appropriate balance between quality and cost; and in making those arrangements and securing that balance,
  • To have regard to economy, efficiency, effectiveness, the equal opportunities requirements, and to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development.

7. There are nine characteristics of Best Value that public service organisations are expected to demonstrate:

  • Commitment and Leadership
  • Sound Governance at a Strategic and Operational Level
  • Accountability
  • Sound Management of Resources
  • Responsiveness and Consultation
  • Use of Review and Options Appraisal
  • A Contribution to Sustainable Development
  • Equal Opportunities Arrangements
  • Joint Working

Implementing the Duty of Best Value

8. Guidance for Accountable Officers on the Duty of Best Value is available on the Scottish Government website. The guidance identifies the themes which an organisation needs to focus on in order to deliver the duty of Best Value. The guidance is not prescriptive of the approach which should be taken, nor does it specify process. It does not seek to create a "one-size fits all" approach but rather it provides detail on what organisations should be aiming for and also points to related support and guidance material. Best Value should be appropriate to, and proportionate to, an organisation's priorities, operating environments and scale / nature of business and should be implemented accordingly. Any enquiries on the content and application of the guidance should be addressed to the Scottish Government's Public Bodies Unit.

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Page Published / Updated: May 2011