Evaluating best value through clustered benchmarking in UK local government: Building control services

Rodney McAdam, Liam O’Neill

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The best value initiative has been designated as the key framework for improving service quality and effectiveness in UK local government. In support of the framework a number of measures have been introduced to measure effectiveness. However, there are problems with using comparative performance measures within the diverse grouping of local government services. Aims to measure the effectiveness of best value in a similar group of building control services by using a clustered benchmarking approach. The mainly qualitative research involves applying a strategic benchmarking approach to the 26 units or councils within the cluster and then comparing the cluster with the best practice UK measures for building control services. To facilitate the process a benchmarking measurement framework for building control was developed. The results indicate that the clustering approach is more beneficial than comparing the service of a single unit with best practice. Practices comparable with best practice for key measures can be identified for individual units or councils within the cluster. Moreover, there are more opportunities for generalising the findings and developing measurement frameworks within clusters. The cluster can internalise the benchmarked findings through mutually supportive programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-457
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Public Sector Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Nov 2002

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Benchmarking
  • Building regulations
  • Control
  • Local government
  • United Kingdom


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