Wrestling with the value added of business improvement districts efficiency, accountability, and contractual governance in Scotland

Deborah Peel, Michael Gregory Lloyd

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    In the United Kingdom the active interest in the designation of business improvement districts (BIDs) forms part of a broader political and economic policy agenda, which, on the one hand, promotes greater business engagement in public policy and, on the other, invokes a parallel modernization of the public sector. This has taken place within a process of devolution which has encouraged different policy and institutional design and implementation. In Scotland, for example, the devolved administration has adopted the BID model in a variety of submunicipal contexts. This paper offers this experience as a contribution to wider international comparative practice. It presents a theoretical conceptualization of the emergent performance management regime being devised for BIDs in Scotland. This involves different policing, satisficing, and maximizing imperatives of the BID concept in relation to experiential learning and democratic accountability. It considers the use of contractual baseline service level agreements as policing mechanisms to ensure that public bodies maintain the standards to which they are committed. It considers the extent to which the potential value added for BID stakeholders is measured.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)488-508
    Number of pages21
    JournalPublic Performance & Management Review
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • additionality
    • contractual governance
    • service-level agreements
    • performance management
    • POLICY
    • WORKS
    • efficiency

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