THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN SCOTLAND ACT 2003
BEST VALUE GUIDANCE
Local Government in Scotland
Guidance by the
BEST VALUE TASK FORCE
the duty to make arrangements to secure
(continuous improvement in the performance of functions)
Issued in pursuance of s2(1)(b) of the Local Government in Scotland Act 2003asp1
The Best Value Task Force 1 has approved the attached guidance on the performance of the duty on local authorities of Best Value. Ministers expect that this guidance will be recognised by authorities and those responsible for local authority audit, inspection and regulation as being consistent with s2(1)(b) of the Local Government in Scotland Act 2003 which refers to:
"what are, whether by reference to any generally recognised, published code or otherwise, regarded as proper arrangements for the purposes of s1(1) of the Act (or purposes which include those purposes).
This guidance is therefore consistent with and of equal status to other material which outlines proper arrangements for the purposes of s1(1) of the Act, where such material is published by professional associations and is recognised as authoritative by the Accounts Commission for Scotland and/or other bodies with statutory responsibility for the scrutiny of Scottish local government.
In the event of conflicts between documents, guidance recognised under s2(1)(b) takes precedence over any other published material on Best Value with the exception of statutory guidance published by Ministers.
1 The Best Value Task Force was convened by Scottish Ministers in 2002. It consists of representatives of the Scottish Executive, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE), Audit Scotland, Association of Chief Police Officers (Scotland) (ACPOS), Chief and Assistant Chief Fire Officers Association (CACFOA), the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) and the Scottish Consumer Council (SCC).
|INTRODUCTION: SECURING BEST VALUE|
This guidance supports and expands upon the statutory guidance issued by the Scottish Ministers under s2(1)(a) of the Act, in giving more detail about the characteristics local authorities are expected to demonstrate in fulfilment of the statutory duties which make up the Best Value 'regime' provided by the Local Government in Scotland Act 2003.
This guidance on Best Value is intended to inform and influence authorities' efforts towards continuous improvement in the performance of their functions. It provides criteria against which authorities will be judged and is not aspirational. In assessing improvement, however, the outcomes of the efforts are of particular significance.
The guidance has been developed recognising the wide range of contexts and scales of the authorities for which it is relevant and the potential for changes to their priorities over time. With this need for flexibility in mind no prioritisation or weighting has been given to the criteria. Each authority is better placed to determine its priorities with regard to demonstrating the characteristics of Best Value arrangements.
Authorities should consider proportionality and the appropriateness of their arrangements with regard to all aspects of implementing Best Value, but this does not mean that authorities may freely disregard any part of this guidance. Deviations will require explanation.