Best Value to help councils’ HR see stars

Three local government HR teams
audited through Best Value have welcomed the process, despite some critical
findings.

The HR department at
York City Council received only one star from the audit in a three-star system.

But Mandy Coalter,
education and leisure HR manager at the council, said under-performance was the
reason it was nominated.

She said, "Best
Value will significantly improve services, as long as it is used in the right
way – as an improvement tool and not just a box-ticking exercise. We chose HR
as we knew that there were some problems and saw this as the way to iron them
out."

The council was told
it has to improve its information on training, sickness and equal opportunities
and lower turnover rates.

Durham City Council’s
HR department was praised for supporting the organisation’s recent
restructuring and 10 per cent staff reduction, but was criticised for having a
poor performance management strategy.

The Best Value
inspectors awarded Northumberland County Council’s personnel service three
stars and praised its professional competence. It said it is highly valued by
customers and likely to improve in the future.

The councils have five
years to implement change.

www.audit-commission.gov.uk

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