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Modern Policy-Making: Ensuring Policies Deliver Value for Money

Departments should check whether their policy-making and implementation processes are suitable and cost effective, and the Cabinet Office can assist by accelerating the identification and dissemination of good practice, Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, today reported to Parliament. Departments spend some £350 billion a year on a range of services and … Read more

Giving Confidently:The Role of the Charity Commission in Regulating Charities

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, has welcomed progress made by the Charity Commission in tackling concerns previously raised about its performance by the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee. Scope for further improvement remains, however, particularly in the Commission’s approach to investigation where problems arise among registered charities and … Read more

Radiocommunications Agency : The Auction of Radio Spectrum for the Third Generation of Mobile Telephones

The £22.5 billion auction of radio spectrum for the third generation of mobile telephones was well designed and efficient, Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, told Parliament today. Key success factors were that the Radiocommunications Agency marketed the opportunity and consulted the Industry extensively before the auction, rehearsed it, managed the bidding … Read more

Policy Development: Improving Air Quality

The development of the national Air Quality Strategy provides a good example of modern policy-making practices, and further improvements can be made, according to a National Audit Office report. The NAO used the development of the second Air Quality Strategy (published in January 2000) to examine the policy development processes of the former Department of … Read more

Inpatient and Outpatient Waiting in the NHS

The need for wider implementation of good practice to manage and reduce waiting lists and times in the NHS in England is highlighted today in a National Audit Office report. In March 2001 some 42,000 patients had been waiting more than 12 months for admission to hospital, and there are large inequalities across the country … Read more

HM Customs and Excise: Losses to the Revenue from Frauds on Alcohol Duty

Sir John Bourn reported today on the Customs response to an independent investigation into losses of customs revenue of £668 million because alcohol destined for export had been fraudulently diverted onto the UK market. In February 2001, the National Audit Office reported on the losses of £668m million that had arisen between 1993-2000 because alcohol … Read more

NHS (England) Summarised Accounts 1999-2000

In a report to Parliament today, head of the National Audit Office Sir John Bourn gave the results of his annual examination of the 19 summarised accounts which cover the financial activities of the NHS in England. Sir John’s opinion on each of the 19 summarised accounts was unqualified. The report drew attention, however, to … Read more

Inland Revenue: Income Tax Self Assessment

The self assessment system introduced by the Inland Revenue five years ago has improved the administration of income tax, according to the National Audit Office. A report to Parliament today by head of the NAO Sir John Bourn focuses on the Inland Revenue’s progress in three areas: identifying potential taxpayers; getting in tax returns; and … Read more

Royal Travel by Air and Rail

In the three years since the Royal Household took over responsibility for managing its own air and rail travel, the cost of such travel has reduced by two thirds. However, as a result of the National Audit Office’s enquiries, the basis of charging by the Ministry of Defence for royal use of the RAF’s 32 … Read more