Headlines: September 6th, 1999

The National Audit Office has joined other auditing bodies in gearing up to support joined up government. The NAO, which employs 750 staff and audits central departments and other public bodies, has set up a multi-disciplinary team to review cross cutting programmes and themes. Among the first tasks of the team are an investigation into the way central government uses the internet and a study of the initiatives to modernise the way Governments spends twelve billion pounds anually on purchasing. They will also look at successful initiatives to find out what factors contributed to the success.

In July the Audit Commission, which audits local councils and health bodies, set up a new Directorate of Public Service Research. The Directorate brought together the former local government and health studies divisions.

Partnership working is resulting in an increasing number of services being delivered by a wider coalition of bodies in the public, charitable voluntary and private sectors, and auditor are having to develop new approaches. The Public Audit Forum was set up last year by the main auditing bodies to foster collaborative support for the modernising government agenda.