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Performance indicators alone are not enough

Letters

You report (NCE 29 June) that the Audit Commission is to ask the ICE-led Best Value task force to develop performance indicators for councils.

Whilst performance indicators, service reviews, benchmarking, the excellence model etc are important components in the search for Best Value they will not, as the Department of the Environment Transport and the Regions recently stated, of themselves deliver Best Value.

The key challenge for local authorities is how to identify and implement changes to their internal processes and structures to improve performance, year on year, through the minimisation of activities that add cost but no value; and by enhancing those activities and functions that add value.

The DETR Best Value Performance Management Framework shares broadly the same principles as the Value Management Framework of BS EN 12973: 2000.

Value Management provides a methodology for developing (locally relevant) performance indicators, reviewing services on a functional basis and for delivering performance improvements. Value Management also engenders the development of a value culture, so essential for sustaining continuous improvement.

Information on Value Management may be obtained from: http//www.ivm.org.uk Harry Hammersley (M), chairman, Midlands branch of the Institute of Value Management, harry@valuemanagers.co.uk

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