Maintaining the momentum of Best Value

Principles and examples of best value, continuous improvement and benchmarking, were just some of the topics covered at this year’s LGPro Vision 2005 – Maintaining the Momentum Conference. Held in Melbourne on 15 and 16 August, delegates heard from a number of keynote speakers who provided their expertise on the topic of Best Value.

As well as hearing from guest speakers, delegates participated in a series of interactive workshops designed to provide maximum knowledge and experience to participants.

President of Local Government Professionals, Noelene Duff, was pleased to announce a $100,000 grant from the Federal Government to LGPro to establish a benchmarking project.

“Implementing Best Value is a daunting task, however it seems to me that real progress is being made and there is a developing sense that Victorian communities are beginning to feel more connected with Local Government,” said Prue Digby, Director Office of Local Government, representing the Minister, Bob Cameron.

She also reported that with the new National Competition Policy Agreements (NCP) that will be negotiated with Councils across Victoria later this year, Best Value will become an essential element of this.

“From this year on, approximately $15 million per annum will be distributed by the Government to Councils across Victoria via NCP,” she said. “It is critical therefore, that Councils are able to demonstrate compliance with Best Value Victoria principles.”

In his presentation, Delivering Best Value through Value Management, Peter Yeomans of Yeomans Consulting provided delegates with a processional guideline to value management.

“Value management is the structural and analytical process seeking to achieve value for money while providing necessary functions at the lowest total cost consistent with required levels of quality and performance,” he said.

He believes that the ‘new tricks’ in value management to be learnt by organisations include the following.

  • Communication – collateral gains as more important than financial gains
  • Time – actual work achieved during workshop sessions are as important to operational time
  • Ownership – cannot be underestimated in terms of outcome in the end
  • Risk – using risk identification at the information stage is important
  • Cooperation and teamwork
  • Enhancing quality
  • Triple bottom line outcomes