The Local Government in Scotland Act 2003 established the duty of Best Value and Community Planning for all Local Authorities in Scotland.  This requires Councils to:

  • Secure continuous improvement in performance, maintaining an appropriate balance between quality and cost;
  • Demonstrate regard for economy, efficiency, effectiveness, equal opportunities and the achievement of sustainable development;
  • Report to the public on the outcome of the performance on Council functions.

The Accounts Commission have put in place arrangements for review of progress against these statutory duties, discharged through Audit Scotland.  A new approach was adopted in 2016, which ensures that each Local Authority has a process of Best Value Assurance (BVA) undertaken at least once in a five-year period.

The Best Value Assurance process on strategic audit priorities of:

  • the clarity of council priorities and quality of long-term planning to achieve these
  • how effectively councils are evaluating and implementing options for significant changes in delivering services
  • how effectively councils are ensuring that members and officers have the right knowledge, skills and time to lead and manage delivery of council priorities
  • how effectively councils are involving citizens in decisions about services
  • the quality of council performance reporting to help citizens gauge improvement.

The West Dunbartonshire Best Value Assurance process was carried out January – April 2018.  This informed development of a Best Value Assurance Report for West Dunbartonshire, which was presented to Accounts Commission on 7 June 2018.  The report was considered by Council on 29 August 2018.