Our work in this sector includes auditing the annual financial statements of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the public bodies they sponsor, including the Rural Payments Agency, The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and the Coal Authority.
We produce a wide range of VfM reports, covering environmental programmes managed by Defra, the management of energy liabilities by DECC and wider topics. We also provide briefings and reports to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee and the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee.
Defra’s 2013-14 accounts have not been qualified but the C&AG warns of the likelihood of the European Commission’s imposing significant financial penalties on the department in future.
The Government awarded, without competition, £16.6 billion worth of early contracts to eight renewable generation projects at risk of investment delay.
All three projects examined by the NAO have experienced significant delays stemming from a range of problems.
The National Audit Office has prepared this briefing on environmental protection for the Environmental Audit Committee. It is a follow up to the environmental protection briefing which the NAO prepared for the Committee in August 2010, and focusses on the progress made by the government in this area since 2010.
The Thames Tideway Tunnel is a planned project to build a large sewer running under the River Thames. It is the Government’s preferred solution to the problem of spills from London’s sewers into the tidal part of the Thames. In response to correspondence, we explain the roles of the different parties, identify potential risks to value for money and set out what we expect good project management to look like. To avoid influencing the outcome of ongoing competitions for the construction and financing of the project, we do not evaluate the value for money of the project and the issues raised do not imply any audit judgement about its performance.
The economic case for the smart metering programme remains positive but there are significant risks and challenges to successful implementation, which must be managed.
Electricity cannot be stored economically in large quantities, and electricity supply and demand throughout the UK must therefore be balanced on a second by second basis. As System Operator, National Grid is responsible for doing this, and it uses a variety of mechanisms which are collectively known as Balancing Services.
This briefing responds to a request from the Environmental Audit Committee to review sustainability at the Home Office. It follows a similar format to our report on sustainability at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and thus covers all aspects of the Department’s activities: governance, policy, operations and procurement.
This Departmental Overview is one of 17 we have produced covering our work on each major government department. It summarises our work on the Department of Energy & Climate Change 2012-13.
The Levy Control Framework is a valuable tool for supporting control of costs to consumers arising from government energy policies, but it has not been fully effective in key areas.