A Best Value audit report published by the Accounts Commission today (Thursday 6 July 2006) says that Renfrewshire Council’s leadership is strong and effective, understands what needs to be done to deliver best value and is making good progress with this. However there is still much to be done to improve service performance. The report provides information about how well the council is organised to deliver improving services to local people.
Alastair MacNish, Chair of the Accounts Commission, said:
“Renfrewshire council has strong and effective leadership, a good understanding of what it needs to do to deliver best value and is making good progress with this. It has a positive organisational culture which effectively supports the drive for improvement.
“Council services are generally well managed and are focused on the needs of those who use them. However the council’s starting point was a low performance base and there is still much to do to improve service performance.
We are pleased that the council recognises this in its improvement agenda. We are also encouraged by the council’s firm commitment to working with other agencies to deliver services and tackle complex problems.”
The Commission welcomed the following aspects of Renfrewshire Council:
- The clear strategic direction provided by elected members and senior officers
- Its effective consultation arrangements
- The strong managerial culture of the council
- The good progress being made in its arrangements for managing and developing its staff, procurement, equal opportunities, sustainable development and customer care
The report identified areas where further work is required. These include:
- Scrutiny by elected members needs to be improved considerably, and all political parties need to engage in all aspects of scrutiny
- There needs to be a broader approach to examining and weighing up the options for services. This should include, where appropriate, market testing.
- Management re-structuring has happened as opportunities have arisen. The council should consider a more strategic approach to determine the most effective management arrangements
Alastair MacNish, Chair of the Accounts Commission concluded: “The Commission looks forward to receiving an Improvement Plan from the council which responds to the audit report and our findings. Progress will be monitored against the plan”.