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Best Value

Local councils are under pressure with increasing demand for services, a real-terms reduction in funding, combined with high inflation and rising interest rates.  Faced with these pressures and spending constraints it is essential that councils secure best value in procurement and demonstrating they are indeed securing and delivering best value.

Best Value was introduced on a voluntary basis in 1998 and became a statutory duty following the Local Government in Scotland Act 2003. The Act places a duty on all Councils to secure Best Value, which is defined as the delivery of continuous improvement in the performance of all the Council’s functions and activities.

Best Value matters because it focuses on:

  • Ensuring good governance
  • Managing resources effectively
  • Focusing on improvement
  • And, most important of all, delivering the best possible outcomes for local people.

Best Value Thematic Reviews

From 2022, reporting on Best Value is changing.  Auditors will be reporting annually to the Commission on specific themes. It is hoped that this will facilitate the exchange of ideas and performance data, as well as offering a detailed analysis of a specific aspect of the work of all councils.

The theme for 2022/23 will be leadership.  Leadership is at the centre of the difficult decisions councils need to make on future priorities and how services will be delivered. That’s why leadership – from both councillors and senior officers - will be the initial focus of thematic audit work across all councils. Without strong leadership, councils will struggle.

The theme for 2023/24 will be workforce.

Best Value Reports for all Councils

Reports for all councils can be found on the Audit Scotland website. Fife’s Best Value report was published in May 2018 – select this link to access the report.

When specific concerns or issues are raised in the audit of a council or other local government body, this may trigger a Section 102 report. From October 2023, short reports on individual Councils will begin to be presented to the Accounts Commission by the Controller of Audit. There will be one s102 for each council over a four-year period to maintain a regular and consistent focus on the performance of all of Scotland’s 32 councils.

Related performance reports