Quality award for London borough

Helen Sage reports

NEWHAM Council is the first London Borough to win an independent quality award for its legal services work.

The legal services department, which tendered successfully for the council's legal work, has been awarded the quality accreditation following an assessment by the independent quality auditor SGS Yarsleys.

The award, which is internationally recognised and open to public and private concerns, is a way of showing that local government is competing with businesses. It is based on the Law Society's own practice standards and independent industry standards.

SGS Yarsleys, an international certification service, spent two days assessing quality standards based on the department's relationship with clients, communication skills and the maintenance of clients files.

Newham's head of legal services Gifty Edila said: "The award is a way of enhancing a department's position to win a contract and tells clients that we are a support service which is providing quality services.

"The accreditation certificate recognises the huge amount of hard work put in by staff to improve services."