In its sale of the 4G radio spectrum the Office of Communications (Ofcom) achieved its objective of maintaining a competitive market with a number of competing providers.
This memorandum was prepared for the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. It provides an overview of Research and Development (R&D) spending in the UK since 1995, details the flow of funding from public and private sources, and compares R&D spending in the UK with spending in other countries.
This Departmental Overview is one of 15 we are producing covering our work on each major government department. It summarises our work on the Department for Department for Business, Innovation and Skills during 2011-12.
Performance Improvement area(s): Departmental Overviews
The Comptroller and Auditor General has qualified the financial accounts of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) over how the Council has accounted for two of its sponsored institutes, the Institute of Food Research and the Babraham Institute.
Sector(s): Science and innovation
“Despite the large sums of money being invested in encouraging innovation, central government isn’t making the most of the opportunities to improve the delivery of public services. Innovation within service delivery is vital and government must be sure that it encourages staff to contribute, listens to the people who use its services and measures what it is getting for the investment made.”
Performance Improvement area(s): Innovation
“The initiative to introduce a single offender management database has been expensive and ultimately unsuccessful. These problems could have been avoided if the National Offender Management Service had established realistic budget, timescales and governance for the project at the start and followed basic project management principles in its implementation. In delivering the new reduced programme, NOMS need to focus on better financial controls and more effective management oversight.”
“Extra resources have gone into Sites of Special Scientific Interest – a key part of the natural environment in England – and results are starting to show. But many will take time to regenerate fully, so a sustained management effort and clear conservation objectives will be needed for long-term success.”
“It was always going to be a demanding task for the Ministry of Defence to replace its diverse information technology with a single, high quality system. The MoD started with a clear vision of what it wanted to achieve and acted to address known risks. But the Programme has run into difficulties and further concerted action will be needed to increase the rate of roll out of terminals and to deliver the remaining software.”