The Home Office has published extensive briefing notes on how it intends to roll out its ‘best value’ concept into the Police Service.Already being implemented in local councils and planned in other public service sectors, best value will be policed in this instance jointly by the Audit Commission and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).
The briefing covers how the Audit Commission and HMIC will share responsibilities, how Police services should prepare for reviews, and benchmarking. Comparison with others is one of the mandatory requirements of best value and benchmarking is being recommended as one of the most popular means.
The Local Government Act 1999 creates the statutory inspection regime. Forces will be self-checking in creating their own best value reviews, though these are subject to a strict criteria.
Key dates ahead are March 31, 2000, the deadline for forces to publish their Best Value Plans, and June 30, 2000, when external audit confirms whether each is robust enough.
Best value inspections by HMIC will follow on a need and risk assessment, rather than routinely.