Headlines: September 28th, 1998

Three North Yorkshire local authorities are setting up a combined internal audit service as part of the latest phase in the government’s best value initiative.Scarborough Borough Council and Ryedale and Selby District Councils will combine their internal auditing teams from April 1999.

The merger project has been chosen as just one of six ‘partnership network’ proposals being co-ordinated by the DETR.

It is estimated that ‘six-figure savings’ will be made from the consortium approach, mainly through reductions in labour costs.

Improvements are also expected, in the greater range of professional expertise that each authority will be able to call on in the future. Business opportunities are also expected, with the possibility of picking up the audit work of other local authorities.

The North Yorkshire experiment involves an in-house solution to achieving best value. Other of the pilots announced by the DETR involve elements of out-sourcing services to achieve best price and efficiency.