Headlines: June 21st, 2000

The Best Value Joint Scrutiny Forum was formed last year to help councils in Scotland to deliver Best Value. The role of the forum is to develop and support joint inspection systems and procedures. As well as co-ordinating the activities of the various inspectorates it is seeking better ways for the inspection and audit functions to fit together. The Forum brings together inspectors of Schools, Constabulary, Benefit Fraud, Social Work Services, and the Fire Service, and auditors of the Accounts Commission and the Scottish Executive. The inspection and audit bodies operate under different legislation, with the schools inspectorate holding the senior position -they were first appointed in 1840 under Royal WarrantInitiatives for preventing duplication and wasteful practices include joint inspections by Family Support Services and Social Work inspectors, co-ordinating Best Value scrutiny between auditors of the Accounts Commission and the Scottish Executive and workshops to consider common topics, such as housing.

A Joint Performance Information Review Groups was set up recently to develop a framework for assessing and improving the information needed to inform judgements on the performance of Scottish councils.

Link: www.scotland.gov.uk/bestvalue/

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