Collaboration key to reform: the new CACFOA President looks forward to the year ahead, asserting that to achieve and sustain the modernisation agenda partnership is essential.(Comment)

As we look forward to a new year, even the most cautious of seers would likely forecast that it will be a year characterised by considerable change and Service reform. Implementation rather than formulation will be the prominent feature of a change agenda, which is increasingly well defined. 2004 will see the introduction of:

* A new Fire and Rescue Bill;

* A National Framework for developing the Fire and Rescue Service in England and Wales;

* First year IRMPs;

* New pay and conditions of Service arrangements based on IPDS and new flexible working arrangements, which will link roles and competency with IRMP and risk control arrangements;

* Regional Management Boards to establish collaborative arrangements designed to improve Service efficiency;

* New Dimensions national/regional strategies, which will be rolled out as part of improving UK resilience and preparedness for a potential terrorist threat;

* The Regulatory Reform Order which will set out a new framework for fire safety control;

* New Audit management which will apply Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) to fire authorities;

* New financial arrangements that will ensure that combined fire authorities are directly and more transparently accountable to the community through precepting. …

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