Best Value


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.

BV1 (2004 - 2009)
The first cycle of Best Value audits (BV1) undertaken across all 32 Scottish councils started in 2004 and was completed in 2009. Reports have been produced for each council and can be found on the Audit Scotland website.   

Fife’s first Best Value (BV1) Audit took place during 2008, with our report being published in March 2009 (for a copy of the report click on the link at the bottom of the page). The assessment highlighted significant strengths in relation to our leadership and strategic direction; close working relationships with our community planning partners; and good self-awareness of improvement priorities. The report also identified a number of areas for improvement that included further refinement of our scrutiny arrangements; progress on our corporate improvement programme; and better evidence of competitiveness and efficiency.

BV2 (2010 - 2016)

In 2010, a new approach was developed to the second cycle of Best Value audits (BV2). This new approach was central to addressing the recommendations of the 2007 Crerar Review of External Scrutiny which called for better overall coordination and an overall reduction in the burden of audit and inspection placed upon Scottish local authorities. The new arrangements meant a move away from a routine cycle of inspections to a more risk-based assessment schedule.  

However, in November 2015, the Accounts Commissions highlighted the intention of developing a new approach to Best Value Audit arrangements.  This proposal reflected concerns over the gaps arising in overall coverage of BV2 across councils and the significant changes to the Scottish local authority operating environment over the past 11 years. By the end of 2016, Fife had not had a Best Value Audit in nine years.

BV3 (2016 - Present day)
The new BV audit arrangements will see all 32 councils receiving a formal BV Assurance report at least once every five years and there will be a greater profile on BV within council’s Annual Audit Reports (AARs).

The new approach to BV audit will continue to be proportionate and risk-based and provide a more longitudinal perspective, with broader coverage across BV characteristics and a more rounded picture on the performance. In effect, BV Assurance Reports will be a combination of conclusions from a range of audit and other scrutiny work undertaken within the five year reporting period.

The first six councils to participate in Year 1 of the new BV programme have been identified as Clackmannanshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, Renfrewshire, Orkney and West Lothian.  Fife Council featured in Year 2 of the new programme which commenced in October 2017.  Fife's report was published on 24th May 2018 - select the following link to access the report.



Peter Corbett, Lead Officer Economy 
Tel: 03451 55 55 55 + Ext 44 09 97 Contact Peter Corbett online
By Post: Fife House North Street Glenrothes Fife KY7 5LT

Niki Ross, Corporate Development Lead Officer 
Tel: 03451 55 55 55 + Ext 44 09 87 Fax: 01592 583527 Contact Niki Ross online
By Post: Fife House North Street Glenrothes Fife KY7 5LT
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