The development and distinctive characteristics of Best Value in Wales are analysed on the basis of an extensive set of interviews with elected members and officers in all of the Welsh pilot authorities. The close relationship between the Welsh Office and the Welsh Local Government Association has shaped the Best Value regime. These organisations have steered the formulation of the policy, and have drivem its implementation at a faster pace than in England. A consequence is that Welsh pilots have confronted difficult issues concerning performance plans and service reviews ahead of their English counterparts. The prospects for the implementation of Best Value are evaluated on the basis of Welsh pilots' experience with the first wave of 127 service reviews.