In 1999 the Victorian Government amended the Local Government Act to add a new section on Best Value. This replaced the previous requirements for Compulsory Competitive Tendering.
Under Best Value, councils are obliged to review all their services and adopt service delivery models that are the best on offer to meet the needs of their community.
The Local Government Act requires Council to take these six principles into account when reviewing its services under best value:
Furthermore, the Act requires Council to take seven factors into account when developing its quality and cost standards:
The implementation of the Best Value principles in the City of Whitehorse will be guided by three principles:
The first step in implementing Best Value involves Council identifying and defining the scope of its services and developing a program of service reviews for implementation.
Council at its meeting on 11 December 2000 adopted a timetable for the implementation of Best Value within the City. This timetable was developed after consultation with the community.
The service descriptions that have been chosen in the implementation timetable are often broad as this allows for services with a common client base/target group or purpose to be reviewed at the same time. This approach should reduce duplication of effort and avoid a fragmented approach to the Best Value review process.
In developing the timetable below the following principles were applied:
Arising from a review of the Best Value Program, undertaken for the Victorian Government by the Best Value Commission, the Minister for Local Government has agreed to make the following amendments to the program:
After December 2005, councils will be able to determine how frequently services will need to be reviewed
Reporting to the community will continue but the specific requirements of the Ministerial Codes will be removed from the 2004/2005 year
These changes reflect the government's recognition that local governments are best placed to determine their planning and reporting methods to their communities.
Council will continue to report on the performance of services against the cost and quality standards that were developed from Best Value reviews through its annual report of the program.
Council has found the service review process beneficial in enabling Council to ensure that its services meet the changing needs of the community and in providing an opportunity to compare its performance with like services in the public and private sectors.
Council will continue to apply the Best Value principles when conducting service reviews and continue to report to the community on the outcomes of its reviews through reports to Council and annual reports on the implementation of Best Value placed on Council's website.
In terms of the development of a program of reviews, Council will take a strategic approach to the conduct of reviews, identifying services for review on the basis of:
The Local Government Act required Council to forward a five year timetable for the review of services by 31 December 2000.Whitehorse Council met this date and has completed all its reviews by 31 May 2005.The timeframe is detailed in the table below:
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