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Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service continues to make positive progress

Published
26.01.2021

An audit report says Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) is continuing to make positive progress in its improvement journey.

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The latest report by Audit Risk Assurance (ARA) says there is a ‘strong drive’ to implement internal audit recommendations by the 2020/21 year end.

GFRS was praised in the report for continuing to make positive progress despite the extra pressures posed by COVID-19.

It says: “Internal Audit recognises the hard work that GFRS continues to place in addressing the audit recommendations in a timely manner, particularly prioritising and focusing on these actions during the pandemic, which has not been an easy task and demonstrates a strong commitment to driving good governance within GFRS.”

The GFRS Improvement Board has confirmed that out of the 124 actions they identified to address the 118 audit recommendations, 91 have now been implemented, 16 are in progress and 17 are in progress within the wider GCC organisation.

In October last year 78 actions had been implemented, 17 were in progress and 29 were awaiting feedback.

A copy of the latest report was presented to the county council’s audit and governance committee on 22 January and can be viewed here.

The findings come as GFRS was praised by government inspectors last week for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was inspected by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) between 9 and 20 November 2020 and a report published on Friday 22 January covered the first peak of the pandemic between April and June 2020.

It said GFRS had made a positive contribution to its community, adapted well so it could continue to provide its core functions, managed its resources effectively and maintained its ability to respond to emergencies.

“The service supported the people of Gloucestershire well during the pandemic and helped limit the spread of the virus,” the report added.

The HMICFRS inspection report can be viewed in full here.

Chief Fire Officer Wayne Bowcock said: “I’m pleased to see that this report has recognised that more positive progress has been made, despite the extra challenges presented by COVID-19. We are fully committed to this improvement journey and aim to implement the remaining recommendations as soon as possible.”

Cllr Dave Norman, Gloucestershire County Council cabinet member with responsibility for the fire and rescue service, said: “This audit report is further proof that Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service is very much heading in the right direction and has taken significant steps to address the problems of the past.

“Following on from last week’s extremely positive inspection report, it shows that the service is making great strides forward and making an immense contribution to our communities in Gloucestershire.”

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