A service under scrutiny: stakes raised by government expectations: the government has released its Draft Fire and Rescue National Framework document setting out the objectives the Government expects the Service to achieve, what actions fire authorities should take, and what support government will provide.(News Extra)

Government expectations of the Fire Service have been clearly set out in the national framework document, for the first time placing the Service under severe scrutiny, with fire authorities subject to assessment on progress on modernisation. The framework will help shape the comprehensive performance assessment for the Service to be undertaken by the Audit Commission.

The framework will now place the Fire Service under the same sort of scrutiny afforded the Police and NHS, ranking brigades according to performance. The Minister will also present an annual performance assessment to Parliament.

The ODPM, however, was keen to assure that the document is not set in stone. …

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