Local authority HR managers have reacted angrily to a union-backed report that claims the framework agreement on Best Value has not been adopted by local government.
The report, Working Together for Best Value, claims that the NJC framework agreement on Best Value should be "more widely applied and used in conjunction with local action plans and good practice guidelines".
The framework, introduced in October 1999, aims to promote union involvement in local government decision-making and improve the quality of service provision.
Terry Gorman, assistant chief executive personnel and corporate services at Nottingham County Council, responded, "Authorities wanted to have the unions engaged but it was not always possible because of their [the unions] negative attitude at local level."
The report has misunderstood local councils' implementation of the framework, claimed Rita Simmons, personnel and training officer of Hampshire County Council.
She said, "I believe that local councils have adopted the principles of the framework but not word for word. Here at Hampshire we have used the document as a template and tailored it into our framework.
"Although it is possible that local councils have overlooked the document as it is just one item in a mountain on Best Value."
The report was produced by a number of organisations including the Improvement and Development Agency, the Local Government Information Unit and the trade unions Unison, GMB and T&G.
By Paul Nelson