Dover follows best value way

Dover district council has agreed to use a ‘best value’ approach for its benefits anti-fraud service, in-line with the government’s initiative to replace compulsory competitive tendering.

Using output-based measures, and supported by the national anti-fraud forum, the authority has commissioned the Barony Group to develop best value as suggested in the government’s White Paper on local government reform.

Chief finance officer Mandy Beer said: ‘We wanted to enter a partnership because we felt we could get a better deal for everybody concerned. Fraud was one of the areas where the council felt best value could benefit us enormously.’

The outsourcing of the anti-fraud service is designed to allow the core service to be provided in-house, with top-up support provided by the private sector. The council hopes this approach will allow comparisons to be made between the public and private sector while reducing fraud and protecting the local taxpayer.

Under the best value regime, local authorities are encouraged to strive for excellence in service provision.

Dover is also examining its other services to see whether the best value regime can offer further benefits and improve performance.

*A consortium led by Electronic Data Systems and IBM has been selected to update the UK social security department’s computing systems to produce a client account for every person.

The Affinity Consortium, which includes Cable & Wireless and PricewaterhouseCoopers, has been chosen to help design the strategic components for the project, which is aimed at modernising the DSS benefit delivery system, while reducing its #2.7bn administration costs.

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