The Whole of Government Accounts provide a unique perspective owing to their reach and approach to measuring the government’s financial performance and position.
HMRC aimed to move more customers online thereby reducing staff costs but significant numbers of staff were let go before technical improvements were completed leading to a collapse in service quality in 2015. Services have since improved.
Government’s programme to transfer back-office functions to two shared service centres has made savings but has not achieved value for money to date.
It is important that the Government ensures its compliance programme reflects the changing risks within the labour market, and maintains its progress in ensuring all employers pay the minimum wage.
BBC has improved the way it manages its business critical projects. Most are on course to deliver and achieve their intended benefits but needs to do more to manage its critical projects as a coherent portfolio.
Probation services have been restructured on time and within cost targets during a period of major change but operational problems and risks to further service transformation need to be resolved if re-offending levels are to reduce.
The welfare cap is encouraging a greater understanding of spending on some benefits and tax credits across government, but it is important that processes for managing the cap are reliable.