The Government set out proposals for a new performance management framework for local areas in the White Paper “Strong and Prosperous Communities” (Cm 6939) in October 2006. This will be introduced from 2009.
The Audit Commission (which from April 2008 will be merged with the Benefit Fraud Inspectorate) will continue to have powers to inspect local authorities under Best Value, with any inspection in future being triggered primarily by risk assessment. The Audit Commission will also manage the overall programme of inspection and external assessment of local authorities to reduce duplication and ensure inspection and assessment is better co-ordinated and proportionate to risk.
Other regulators and inspectorates with responsibilities for inspection of some local authority services include the new Ofsted, the Adult Social Care Inspectorate which will bring together Commission for Social Care Inspection and Healthcare Commission functions, and the existing five criminal justice inspectorates.