Counting the cost, measuring the value
Research on how scrutiny can incorporate a consideration of value for money
Value for money is a key driver of reform in the public sector at the moment. It is one of the principal means that councils are using to establish whether, and how, services are to be changed and/or cut. Scrutiny needs to be in on the front line of these discussions, evaluating plans and challenging assumptions, on the basis of a clear understanding of what value for money is.
Looking at examples from a number of authorities, this research explores some of the common opportunities and pitfalls around VfM and related issues such as cost-benefit analysis. It provides practical advice to scrutineers about how to make this aspect of their work more effective.