Whitehorse City Council

Best Value Program

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: 

  • The need for services to deliver against agreed quality and cost standards
  • Accessibility of services to those who need them
  • Services being responsive to changing community needs
  • Continuous improvement in the delivery of services
  • Community consultation on services and activities
  • Regular annual reporting to the community on Council's performance

Furthermore, the Act requires Council to take seven factors into account when developing its quality and cost standards:

  • The best on offer in the public and private sectors
  • Value for money
  • Community expectations and values
  • Balance of affordability and accessibility
  • Opportunities for local employment growth
  • Partnership building with other levels of government 
  • Environmental sustainability 

Council's Approach to Best Value

The implementation of the Best Value principles in the City of Whitehorse will be guided by three principles:

  • The Best Value process at Council will be used to ensure that all of the City's services and activities provide high quality and good value for money to the community
  • Council is committed to ensuring that where appropriate the services currently being provided by Council staff continue to be delivered internally unless it can be demonstrated that it would be better value to the community for these services to be provided by others 
  • The Best Value process will be implemented in accordance with the Victorian Government's recently released Competitive Neutrality Policy Victoria 2000

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.  

2000-2005 Program

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:

  • Balance across the organisation, that is, ensuring that there is a mix of services being reviewed
  • Balance across the five years, that is, ensuring that there is an appropriate spread of effort over the period 2001 to 2005
  • The complexity of the area to be reviewed
  • The current level of preparatory work already undertaken within the service area and at an industry level
  • The remaining term on existing contracts  

Post 2005 Program

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:  

  • Significance in achieving Council's strategic goals
  • Capacity to lead to significant improvement in service delivery
  • Changes in community satisfaction with the service
  • Changes in community expectations or demands for the service
  • Alterations in government policy that have major ramifications for service delivery
  • The length of time that has lapsed since the previous review

2000-2005 Program and Beyond

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:

Review Commencement Date          Review Date Status
Fleet Management   July 2000 Completed
Kerbside Waste Collection and Recycling September 2000 Completed
Building Services January 2001 Completed
Children's Services March 2001 Completed
Health Services July 2001 Completed
Community Facilities July 2001 Completed
Youth Services July 2001 Completed
Corporate Services July 2001 Completed
Active Leisure Centres July 2001 Completed
Local Laws July 2001 Completed
Arts and Culture July 2001 Completed
Traffic Management July 2001 Completed
Aged Services January 2002 Completed
Disability Services January 2002 Completed
Residential Services July 2002 Completed
Economic Development July 2002 Completed
Engineering Development July 2002 Completed
Civic Services July 2002 Completed
Urban Design July 2002 Completed
Capital Works July 2002 Completed
Open Space January 2003 Completed
Planning July 2003 Completed
Infrastructure Maintenance February 2003 Completed
Building Maintenance February 2003 Completed
Customer Service May 2006 Completed
Family Day Care May 2006 Completed

Best Value Annual Reports: