Definitions of External Scrutiny
"External Scrutiny" is used in this context as an overarching term for for regulation, audit, inspection and complaints handling directed at public service providers.
These activities are defined as:
- Regulation focuses on providing a licence to operate, enforcement of legislation and regulations, and monitoring the quality of services provided. Regulation may also include elements of service inspection, and can be designed to drive up quality as well as to enforce standards;
- Audit is the periodic external scrutiny of corporate governance and management; financial statements and underlying financial systems; and performance, performance management and reporting of public bodies;
- Inspection is periodic, targeted scrutiny of specific services, to check whether they are meeting national and local performance standards, legislative and professional requirements, and the needs of service users;
- Complaints handling is the independent investigation of complaints about public services carried out by a range of commissioners and ombudsmen and other public bodies with specific roles and responsibilities.
Page updated: Monday, March 07, 2011