‘Bureaucratic’ regime blasted by top authorities

14 February 2002
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14 February 2002

Local councils have slammed the best-value regime for failing to deliver value for money.

A survey of the 41 largest UK councils undertaking best-value reviews found widespread criticism that the scheme is too bureaucratic and replicates or interferes with internal reviews.

Complying with best value cost an estimated £20,000-£40,000 a year, but no council expected to recoup its outlay through efficiency savings.

The Audit Commission began best-value reviews two years ago, requiring councils to assess their performance and ensure continuous improvement. But nearly three-quarters of respondents had not changed their approach to competition or using contractors, and only two had drawn up new procurement strategies.

The report, commissioned by the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, calls for more guidance specifically tailored to councils.

SMfeb2002

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