The NAO undertakes around 60 value for money studies each year which Parliament use to hold government to account for how it spends public money.
Each study examines a major area of government expenditure, and our objective is to form a judgement on whether value for money has been achieved. We define good value for money as the optimal use of resources to achieve the intended outcomes. Our role is not to question government policy objectives, but to provide independent and rigorous analysis to Parliament on the way in which public money has been spent to achieve those policy objectives.
As well as reaching an overall conclusion on value for money, we make recommendations on how to achieve better value for money and to improve the services under examination.
Our reports form the basis of hearings of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and audited bodies respond to the recommendations made by the committee on the basis of our reports. In some circumstances, we conduct a follow-up study to measure progress against the recommendations we have made.
The recommendations from our work result in financial savings and positive changes in government to improve services and ensure value for money for the taxpayer. Examples can be found in our Annual Reports.
Our value for money studies are public documents and can be accessed via the publications page.
You can find details of upcoming studies on our work in progress page.
Further information about our value for money work: