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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 21/05/2002
Fundamental Service Reviews - Interim Report on Year 3




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APPENDIX B

WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

COMMUNITY OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – 21ST MAY 2002
________________________________________________________________________
Title:
FUNDAMENTAL SERVICE REVIEWS - INTERIM REPORT ON YEAR 3
[Wards Affected: N/A]
________________________________________________________________________
Summary and Purpose

This report reminds members of the current Best Value review process and sets out a refined process for Year 3 reviews pending the completion of a full Best Value Process Fundamental Service Review, to be undertaken in Year 2002/03.

There are no immediate financial or other implications.
Introduction

1. Members will recall that at its meeting on the 28th August 2001, the Executive considered the Council’s approach to the conduct of Fundamental Service Reviews as there were real concerns that it was both costly and too bureaucratic. It was recognised that it was inevitable that, initially, with a new initiative as challenging as Best Value, significant resources were committed to getting it right and that Year 1 reviews included a review of a whole department with a range of significant and complex issues.

2. With the benefit of experience and the need for realism about the nature and scale of each review, Year 2 reviews focused more on the basic elements of the reviews activities rather than processes and procedures. Best Value review is a diagnostic process. The challenge has been to recognise this and develop a lighter touch in the conduct of reviews where this is appropriate so that most effort is targeted where the risk and/or the potential for improvement is greatest.

3. The Executive agreed at its meeting in August 2001 that whilst it was recognised that it is important to ensure that each review is conducted in accordance with statutory requirements and the principles of Best Value, the Council’s approach to Fundamental Service Reviews should be streamlined as outlined in Annexe 1 to this report. This built on an earlier decision to simplify and clarify the review process with the introduction of a new flow diagram in June 2001

The Way Forward

4. Year 2 Fundamental Service Reviews have now been completed within the streamlined framework, as agreed in 2001. It is proposed to continue the Year 2 ‘lighter touch’ approach set out at Annexe 1 to Year 3 Fundamental Service Reviews. However, there is still further scope to refine the process, for Year 3 Fundamental Service Review, pending the outcome of the Best Value Process Review discussed at paragraph 5 to this report.

5. As members will be aware, Year 3 Best Value reviews include a review of the Best Value process, which review falls within the scope of the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee. This review will include looking at:-


o Best Value and performance management functions of the Corporate Support Unit;
o The size and detail of the Scoping Reports;
o Consultation process; and
o Member involvement

6. However, as an interim measure for Year 3 Best Value Reviews, and pending completion of the Fundamental Review of the Best Value process, the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee recommended to the Executive that changes be made to the flow diagram to recognise the role of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. The new flow diagram is attached at Annexe 2 to this report.

7. The Executive, on 1st May last, endorsed the views of the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee that:-

1. the scope of the Best Value Process Review should include the matters as set out in paragraph 5 of the report; and

2. the flow diagram at Annexe 2 to the report be approved.

8. In responding to the further observations of the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the Executive did not agree that the Overview and Scrutiny Committees should have a prior input into the selection of Fundamental Service Reviews but it was noted that action plans would result from the reviews and be presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Committees with the Fundamental Service Review reports.

Recommendation

That the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee receives and notes this report.

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Background Papers (CEx)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.

________________________________________________________________________

CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Anne Bott Telephone: 01483 523415
E-mail abott@waverley.gov.uk


comms/O&S3/2001-02/079
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