3.The purpose of Part I of the Act is two-fold. Firstly, it subjects most bodies within the local government finance system in England and Wales to a new duty to make arrangements for the achievement of best value in the performance of their functions.
Best value for these purposes is described as securing continuous improvement in the exercise of all functions undertaken by the authority, whether statutory or not, having regard to a combination of economy, efficiency and effectiveness.
Secondly, the Act provides for the abolition of Part III of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980, Part I of the Local Government Act 1988, and certain provisions within the Local Government Act 1992, which require certain defined authorities—including councils and police and fire authorities—to submit specified activities to Compulsory Competitive Tendering (CCT).
4.The purpose of Part II of the Act is to enable the Government to regulate increases in council tax. Firstly, the Act will repeal the existing capping legislation used for this purpose and take reserve powers that are more flexible. As with the existing legislation, the powers will be exercised on the basis of the budget requirement. Secondly, the Act will make provision for payments between tiers of authorities so that any shortfall in council tax benefit arising from excessive increases in council tax fall on the authority responsible.