The Best Value model is a key component of Council’s continuous improvement program. Best Value principles allow Council to benchmark services, assess its efficiency and gauge the extent to which it meets community needs. The aim is to improve the responsiveness, quality, efficiency, accessibility and value of the services Council provides to the community. The State Government introduced Best Value legislation in 1999 to replace compulsory competitive tendering. Best Value Victoria aims to ensure Local Government services are the best available and that they meet the needs of the community.
The Local Government Act 1989 requires the six Best Value principles be applied to all Council services since 31 December 2005. These are:
- Best quality and value-for-money.
- Responsiveness to community needs.
- Accessibility of services to those who need them.
- Continuous improvement of services.
- Community consultation on all services and activities.
- Regular community reporting on Council achievements.
Council is now in its 16th year of Best Value. Council continues to use Best Value to assist in continuous improvement. A focus on continuous improvement helps to ensure the process is not seen simply as a once-off service review but, importantly, a process that leads to constant improvements in service provision. Each completed Best Value review has a continuous improvement plan with systems and procedures in place to ensure Council obtains regular feedback regarding the particular service. This feedback is then used to make improvements to the service. Business units have developed a variety of approaches to capture feedback. These include regular surveys of their customers, annual performance benchmarking, annual and random audits and staff consultative mechanisms. Business units develop a plan to improve performance based on the feedback received. The quality and cost standards contained in each service’s Best Value report are indicative of the improvements made.
All services have now been reviewed against the Best Value principles. Each of the reviews established several quality and cost standards and Council will continue to report to the community against these standards. Performance against the quality and cost standards for each service review is published in Council’s Best Value Victoria report which can be found on Council’s website.
Key reporting against quality standards includes:
- Ninety four per cent of zero to one-year-olds fully immunised.
- Recreation and Open Space achieved its target of having 100 per cent capacity in respect to the level of sportsground usage.
- Traffic, Safety and Parking completed 92 per cent of detailed investigations within one month against a target of 90 per cent per month.
- Infrastructure Assets achieved 67 per cent satisfaction on its annual Community Satisfaction Survey for roads and footpaths.
- Council’s three residential aged care facilities recorded resident satisfaction of 95 per cent, 94 per cent and 92 per cent against a target of 90 per cent.
- 6,538 young people participated in 279 Youth Services programs.
- All Glen Eira playgrounds are 100 per cent compliant with the Australian standards.
- The Immunisation Service received no complaints.
- Civic Compliance responded to 95.90 per cent of customer requests/complaints in time.
- Maternal and Child Health client satisfaction was 93 per cent.
- Corporate Counsel ensured that all contracts complied with Section 186 of the Local Government Act 1989.
- Family Day Care parent’s satisfaction was 96.88 per cent.
Key reporting against efficiency and cost standards:
- Two thousand and fourteen inspections of Glen Eira’s 900 registered food businesses were undertaken in 2016–2017.
- Community Care Services provided 92,222 hours of in-home support against a Department of Health and Human Services target of 95,473 hours and 22,397 social support hours against a target of 23,633.
- Fleet Services’ workshop service costs were 1.13 cents per kilometre. This was more efficient than the target of 1.45 cents per kilometre.
- Council’s Service Centre’s average call waiting time was 34 seconds with 82 per cent of calls resolved at the first point of contact.
- Construction and Project Management had a target of completing more than 85 per cent of projects within final budget. This was achieved, with 97 per cent of projects being completed within the project budget.
- Infrastructure Maintenance’s customer request response times were listed as a key performance indicator. The target of 95 per cent actioned within the agreed time frames was exceeded with greater than 99 per cent actioned within time.
- The target cost of each immunisation encounter was $22.71 and Council achieved $18.44.
Council’s full Best Value Report (Report) is available at www.gleneira.vic.gov.au The Report provides further information on service improvements, benchmark data and consultative mechanisms. The Report also provides additional information as to how the factors in section 208C of the Local Government Act 1989 were taken into account when developing quality and cost standards for each service. These factors are:
- the need to review services against the best-on-offer in both the public and private sectors;
- an assessment of value-for-money in service delivery;
- community expectations and values;
- the balance of affordability and accessibility of services to the community;
- opportunities for local employment growth or retention;
- the value of potential partnerships with other councils and State and the Commonwealth governments; and
- potential environmental advantages for the council’s municipal district.