Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute Valuation Joint Board initially committed to ‘Best Value’ in 1999 when it made its first submission to the Scottish Executive. That submission contained a self-assessment of the Joint Boards compliance with the essential elements of Best Value, a demonstration of how it achieved value for money, a service review schedule and a framework for the development of public performance reporting.
By placing a formal requirement on local authorities, including Valuation Joint Boards, to ‘secure Best Value’, The Local Government in Scotland Act 2003 created a statutory requirement to provide continuous improvement in public services.
Audit Scotland had recognised that:-
“It is clear that the Board is committed to the introduction of a Best Value framework and is taking a proactive approach in further developing arrangements. Current areas of strength include regular reporting on Best Value issues to members of the Board, well established procedures for the reporting and monitoring of Key Performance Indicators and the publication of an annual performance statement”
Areas where the Joint Board has improved are in the following:-
- Publication of a Corporate Governance Statement and Local Code of Corporate Governance
- Introduction of a Customer Comments and Complaints Process
- Enhanced Public Performance Reporting
- Implementation of Equalities Schemes
- Good Governance Self assessment and Good Governance Action Plan
- Code of Conduct for Employees
The Board’s ability to provide continuous improvement has also been enhanced by the introduction and regular review of the following:-
– 3-yearly and Annual Service Planning
– Audit Action Plans
– Risk Management Procedures including a Risk Register and Action Plans
– Reporting Framework