Audit Commission moves to reassure public sector about best value

The report, called Best Assured, was published on Monday and claims to help key players in the sector, including local, police and fire authorities, understand their best value roles.

Audit reports on authorities’ best value performance plans will be the first public judgement on how well public bodies are coping with the new regime.

The report also gives the timely reminder that under new legislation government ministers will have wide ranging powers to intervene if they judge local services to be failing.

Wendy Thomson, director of inspection at the Audit Commission, said: ‘We hope this paper will address some of the uncertainties within best value authorities about the new roles and responsibilities of the Audit Commission.’

However, there remains real concern among local authorities on best value and auditing for it.

One council finance chairman described it as a ‘fudge’ and said confusion still remained over how best value was actually defined.

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