Council performance

Best Value

Best Value became a statutory duty following the Local Government in Scotland Act 2003. The Act places a duty on all Councils to secure Best Value, which is defined as the delivery of continuous improvement in the performance of all the Council’s functions and activities.

BV1 (2004 – 2009)

The first cycle of Best Value audits (BV1) undertaken across all 32 Scottish councils started in 2004 and was completed in 2009. Midlothian’s first Best Value Audit report was published in June 2008 and can be found on the Audit Scotland website.

BV2 (2010 – 2016)

In 2010, a new approach was developed for the second cycle of Best Value audits (BV2). The new arrangements meant a move away from a routine cycle of inspections to a more risk-based assessment schedule. Midlothian’s BV2 Audit report was published in June 2012 and can be found on Audit Scotland. In 2015, the Accounts Commission highlighted the intention of developing a new approach to Best Value Audit arrangements due to concerns over gaps in overall coverage of BV2 across councils and the significant changes to the Scottish local authority operating environment over the past few years.

BV3 (2016 – Present day)

The new BV audit arrangements will see all 32 councils receiving a formal BV Assurance report at least once every five years and there will be a greater profile on BV within council’s Annual Audit Reports (AARs). The new approach will continue to be balanced and risk-based and provide more information over time, with broader coverage across BV characteristics and a more balanced picture on their performance. In effect, BV Assurance Reports will be a combination of conclusions from a range of audit and other scrutiny work undertaken within the five year reporting period.

Midlothian’s audit work was carried out by a team of auditors and best value auditors from Ernst & Young and Audit Scotland in the spring 2019 and the report was published in July 2019.

Further information on our Action Plan following the BVAR is available.