In Scotland, local authorities have a duty by law to demonstrate best value and continuous improvement when delivering their services. The arrangements for ensuring best value are co-ordinated by the Policy, Planning and Performance Division. The division co-ordinates and participates in the identification and conduct of best value service reviews across all Council departments. The service reviews are an integral part of the redesign of Council services in recent years.
These reviews have contributed to the Council's financial efficiency savings whilst ensuring that services are capable of meeting the needs of users within available resources. The role performed by the Policy, Planning and Performance Division is a key element in the achievement of the Council's strategic objectives set out in its Transformation Strategy for 2012 - 2017.
The Council uses several tools to show the Scottish Government, and local residents, that we are meeting these important objectives as outlined below:
We use this system to show that we have firm control of everything we do, based on three fundamental principles - openness; integrity and accountability. Good governance includes good management, good performance, sound financial management, listening to what local residents have to say about Council services and providing good outcomes for all citizens and service users.
We have approved and adopted a Local Code of Corporate Governance based on the best practice available in Scotland. Our Policy, Planning and Performance Division develops and implements the Local Code. We review our Corporate Governance arrangements every year to make sure that our approach is strong and effective.
The outcome of this review is reported to the Council;s Governance and Scrutiny Committee, and a copy of the latest report including a copy of the Council’s Local Code of Corporate Governance for this year can be downloaded from the further information section. You can also see an update of last year's Action Plan and details of this year's Action Plan along with the Council’s Annual Statement of Assurance.
Self evaluation arrangements
Our Performance Development Team, within the Policy, Planning and Performance Division, is responsible for EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management) self-assessments. These are an internationally recognised system which we use to make sure that our services continue to improve. These are carried out annually within each Council service. We use the model to assess the performance of the service and to produce an action plan which identifies ways that we can further improve our services. Our Performance Development Team is responsible for this programme, and provides support and guidance for all services if requested.
In 2011/12, the council completed its third Council-wide strategic self-assessment of performance. This process, led by the Chief Executive and Executive Directors, scored the council's performance against Audit Scotland's ten Best Value criteria. Alastair MacNish, a former Chair of the Accounts Commission, was appointed as a 'critical friend' to provide independent challenge to the process and scoring. The assessment includes a number of actions that the council plans to implement to sustain or improve its practices.
Annual performance report
We have made a commitment to report on our performance every year. We deliver a wide range of services and report on performance in a variety of ways at different times throughout the year. The Council's Annual Performance Report (APR), under further information, provides a useful summary of our performance. In summary format, the report highlights some of our achievements in 2011/12 and activity against our Community Plan Action Plans 2011-15 and the associated Community Planning Partnership Single Outcome Agreement 2011-2014.