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NEW PROPOSALS FOR BEST VALUE BROADLY WELCOMED - WITH SOME RESERVATIONS

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The review of the best value regime announced by Stephen Byers on Monday* ...
The review of the best value regime announced by Stephen Byers on Monday*

has been broadly welcomed by the Society of IT Management (SOCITM) but

some of the proposals could result in higher costs for services SOCITM

warns.

Councils that excel will be given powers to provide services to other

councils. This will allow the public authorities to compete with the

private sector and deliver 'best value' services. However the history of

this type of authority to authority working has not been good. Legal,

operational and financial wrangles have dogged such schemes in the past.

The proposal to legislate to outlaw situations where private firms pay new

staff lower rates than those transferred under TUPE is likely to be more

controversial. Areas of work such as social care, school cleaning and

waste collection could become more expensive. This will mean that less

money will be available for other priorities. Private companies will argue

that they pay the market rate for the job.

In some of the professional areas such as IT, finance and law the pay

differential is the other way. Will the legislation outlaw this too, if it

does then the cost of professional services could rise. This may also have

a knock on effect in all councils.

* for full details see LGCnet.

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