Best Value

The Statutory Duty of Best Value in local government was introduced in the Local Government in (Scotland) Act 2003.  In summary, under this legislation, each council is obliged to:

  • work with its partners to identify a clear set of priorities that respond to the needs of the local community
  • be organised to deliver those priorities
  • meet and clearly demonstrate that it is meeting the community’s needs
  • operate in a way that drives continuous improvement in all of its activities

At least once every 5 years, Audit Scotland will produce a Best Value Assurance Report on each Scottish council.  This will draw on all of the audit and scrutiny work undertaken to date at a council.  The reports summarise the evidence, giving judgements on how effectively each council is delivering Best Value.  The scope of each Best Value Assurance Report will be different and focused on the key priority activities and risks in the particular council. 

The most recent Audit Scotland Best Value Report and Improvement Action Plan for Stirling can be found below:


Scottish councils have a statutory duty, introduced in the Local Government (Scotland) Act 2003 to make arrangements to secure Best Value. Under this duty councils are expected to use a model of self-assessment to demonstrate an effective approach to continuous improvement and performance management.

In 2010 Stirling Council adopted the Public Service Improvement Framework (PSIF) as their overarching self-assessment framework. PSIF is a performance improvement model using a self-assessment approach which encourages organisations to conduct a comprehensive review of their own activities and performance results. It promotes a holistic approach to continuous improvement, which allows Councils to identify their strengths and areas for improvement. 

The PSIF approach is fully supported by the Improvement Service who provide PSIF training and facilitation support to councils. PSIF involves carrying out a review against six core components: Leadership; Service Planning; Staff; Partnerships & Resources; Processes & Services and Results. At the end of each PSIF exercise, an improvement action plan is produced.

Assurance and Improvement Plan

The Local Scrutiny Plan is an annual document, prepared by Audit Scotland, that sets out any scrutiny risks identified by the local area network (LAN), proposed scrutiny responses and expected scrutiny activity for Stirling Council during the financial year. The scrutiny risks and responses are based on a shared risk assessment undertaken by the LAN.

There is a LAN for each council in Scotland, comprising representatives of all the scrutiny bodies who engage with the council, including Audit Scotland, Education Scotland, the Care Inspectorate and the Scottish Housing Regulator. The shared risk assessment process draws on a range of evidence with the aim of determining any scrutiny risks in the council and the Integration Joint Board (IJB).

The aim of the shared risk assessment process is to focus on scrutiny activity where it is most needed and to determine the most proportionate scrutiny response over a three year period.

The current Local Scrutiny Plan for Stirling Council (for 2018/19) is now available.  The same link also provides access to the related National Scrutiny Plan, which is published by the Accounts Commission and Audit Scotland. 


All Councils in Scotland are subject to a range of inspections carried out by external organisations. These inspections check that our service delivery meets national standards, provide value for money, and satisfies service user requirements. Inspections carried out by an external organisation can be viewed below.

Audit Committee

The purpose of the Audit Committee is to provide independent assurance of the adequacy of the risk management framework and the associated control environment, independent scrutiny of the Council’s financial and non- financial performance to the extent that it affects the Council’s exposure to risk and weakens the control environment and to oversee the financial reporting process.  

Local Government Benchmarking Framework

The Local Government Benchmark Framework (LGBF) is a set of performance indicators developed for Scottish Councils to compare performance. This is to encourage sharing and learning between Councils to support continuous improvement. Family Groups bring together similar councils and provide a forum for considering issues that affect performance in different locations and the transfer of good practice between Councils. Stirling Council is an active participant in the Family Groups.

View performance information about how Stirling Council compares to other local authorities.

Last updated: Tuesday, May 11, 2021 2:22 PM