The government is considering plans to merge up to 13 public service inspectorates into just four bodies in a move to cut costs and bureaucracy, it emerged today.

Under the plan outlined in a Cabinet Office slide presentation aimed at saving £600m, there will also be just one inspection regime for local government taking in the Audit Commission, the Fire Inspectorate and Benefit Fraud Inspectorate.
The other two super inspectorates would cover education and criminal justice.

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