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Cabinet Member for GFRS welcomes outcome of audit work

Published
18.07.2019

GCC’s cabinet member with responsibility for Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) has today welcomed the findings of six compliance audits carried out earlier this year and the work underway to ensure the necessary improvements are made.

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The audits, carried out by Audit Risk Assurance, highlighted a number of areas where compliance was ‘limited’. A range of actions have been agreed with Wayne Bowcock, the new Chief Fire Officer, to ensure the required improvements are made, so the public can have confidence in the processes and systems that support GFRS in delivering high quality outcomes for communities across the county.

A series of actions, a number which have already been implemented, the officer responsible for delivering on them and the timescales are all set out in the reports and will be scrutinised under new arrangements established by the council.  A cross party councillor cabinet panel has also been established as an extra level of oversight, to support the Chief Fire Officer to deliver on these actions.

Cllr Dave Norman, Cabinet Member for Public Protection at Gloucestershire County Council said: “GFRS does a fantastic job of keeping us all safe, both through responding to incidents and through their programme of prevention work. What is clear from these reports though is that historically systems and processes were simply not good enough and that there were areas where governance arrangements were not followed.

“High standards are expected of everyone who works in the public sector and we must make sure that all necessary steps are taken so residents and businesses can be confident that their hard earned money is being put to best use, for the good of Gloucestershire.

“Since his arrival, the new Chief Fire Officer has ensured the necessary plans are in place to rectify these shortcomings and in some cases this work has already been done. I am confident that under his leadership the service will go from strength to strength.

“We continue to further integrate GFRS into the wider council to ensure the service is as efficient as possible and can go on supporting the wider work of the council, for example, wellbeing checks of vulnerable adults and to bring things in line with the strong processes in place across the rest of the organisation.”

The Audit and Governance Committee will consider the reports when it meets on 26 July 2019. The papers can be viewed here.

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