Headlines: December 17th, 1999

Guidance on Best Value, to assist authorities in their preparations for the introduction of the new duty on 1 April 2000, is likely to be well-thumbed in many parts of the public sector.The theme of seeking ‘best value’ from public money is now common in the health service and in Government departments, with the National Audit Office using the term in its recent report on the Highways Agency.

The Guidance contains the key issues which authorities are expected to address in carrying out Best Value Reviews and preparing Best Value Performance Plans.

Local authorities have to produce their Best Value Performance Plans by 31 March 2000.

Copies of the guidance, DETR Circular 10/99, are available for 9.50 pounds from the Stationery Office (The Publications Centre, orders tel: 0845 702 3474). It is also intended to publish it on the DETR website: www.detr.gov.uk.

Copies are being distributed to authorities later this week.

The national Best Value Performance Indicators will be published by the end of the year, alongside those required by the Audit Commission.