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Sir John Bourn, head of the NAO, today reported that the Northern Ireland Policing Board’s Best Value Performance Plan for 2004-05 generally meets the statutory requirements. To meet all requirements in future, it will need to make arrangements to assess the way in which the Board’s own functions are exercised. He also recommends that more explanation both of the aims and processes of Best Value and of how the chosen indicators feed into the Best Value process could usefully be provided.

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The report also finds that the Policing Board’s indicators are reasonable, the systems to generate the information needed are sound and the information in the Annual Report is accurate.

The Policing Board and the Police Service face a number of challenges such as the developments following the Patten Report which include a step-change in the provision of IT systems, staff reductions and civilianisation. The Police Service are now taking action to ensure that Best Value in the future is given a higher priority and focuses on more strategic areas so that they can demonstrate their overall progress and deliver desired step changes.

"The Policing Board and Police Service have accepted the recommendations I make in my report and have a range to initiatives in hand to address them. These are positive signs that they are both aware of the challenges they face and that they have taken them up. I look forward to reporting positive progress on the working of Continuous Improvement next year and in future years."

Sir John


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