Headlines: July 23rd, 1999

Joined up inspection of public services is essential in delivering joined up services and the many inspectorates and audit bodies are revising practices and procedures. The best value regime, providing a performance management framework, is due to start in April 2000 and it will boost joined up working across the public sector. In a move to ensure a coherent approach, inspection and audit bodies have joined together to form a Best Value Inspectorate Forum.

The Forum will act as a focus for the work of different inspectorates allowing greater co-operation and scope for a more flexible approach. It will also enable better communication between local authorities, inspectorates and central government and share best practice between inspectorates. Forum members will include existing bodies such as OFSTED and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and a new Best Value Inspectorate, incorporating a Housing Inspectorate, within the Audit Commission.