Headlines: July 30th, 1998

If public sector organisations are to deliver increasingly efficient and effective services, then cross agency working, a focus on the citizen’s perspective and combating fraud must be key priorities, according to the Audit Commission annual report published today.

Roger Brooke, Chairman of the Audit Commission, said: ” Over the last year the Commission has continued to promote its core values of efficiency, effectiveness and economy. During this period we have seen the government’s priorities on the future direction of the public sector develop considerably. The Commission must continue its drive to work more closely with audited bodies to ensure these changes deliver value for money and higher quality services for taxpayers. The Commission has always sought to improve its own performance and will publish a consultation document on its strategy later this year.”

The Annual Report and Accounts, covering the seven month period ended 31 October 1997 (and the 1996/1997 audit year), highlights the areas developed by the Commission during that time. Future priorities will include:

•Supporting local authorities in delivering and measuring best value

•Supporting the programme of change underway within the NHS

•Ensuring efficient and effective stewardship of public money in the NHS
and local government

The government has proposed significant changes in local government through the ‘best value’ regime and the Commission has established a team to assist authorities with the requirements of the new regime.