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The Implementation of the National Probation Service Information Systems Strategy

The National Probation Service Information Systems Strategy (NPSISS) network is operating in 38 out of the 42 new local probation areas in England and Wales. Nevertheless, there were serious problems in the development of a case recording and management system, known as CRAMS, leading to its use by a minority of probation service areas. During … Read more

Purchasing Professional Services

How government departments can get better value for money from the £600 million they spend each year on professional services from suppliers of specialist expertise advice and assistance is highlighted today in a National Audit Office report. It concludes that value for money improvements of at least 10 per cent (£60 million) are achievable.   … Read more

Regulating Housing Associations’ Management of Financial Risk

The housing association sector and the Housing Corporation, the sector’s regulator, are facing new and more complex financial risks, according to the National Audit Office. The Housing Corporation has started to reform the way in which it regulates associations, known as Registered Social Landlords (RSLs), but there is scope to improve regulation further. According to … Read more

Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions: The Channel Tunnel Rail Link

Sir John Bourn, Head of the National Audit Office, told Parliament today that although the Private Finance Initiative deal for the construction of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link was in many respects unique, the lessons to be learned from the project’s near collapse are not. The report makes three key points. In negotiating with the … Read more

Financial Auditing And Reporting: 1999-2000 General Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, has reported to Parliament on the outcome of financial audit work undertaken by the NAO in central government over the past year. During the year Sir John qualified his audit opinion on 11 accounts and reported on a further 11. Today’s report examines the progress made … Read more

Ship Surveys and Inspections

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), the principal government body for enforcing ship safety standards, makes a major contribution to the UK’s ship safety record, now one of the best in the world. However, according to a report to Parliament today by Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, the MCA can increase … Read more

Measuring the Performance of Government Departments

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, today reported to Parliament developments in performance measurement intended to support the achievement of Government aims and objectives. For each Department, key objectives and associated performance targets feature in a Public Service Agreement, which underlies the resources allocated in spending reviews. These arrangements put the United … Read more

Ministry of Defence: Maximising the Benefits of Defence Equipment Co-Operation

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, today told Parliament that defence equipment acquisition was an inherently complex and often expensive task. Co-operation adds another layer of complexity. It also offers potential economic, military, industrial and political benefits but in the past not all of these have been secured. Recent initiatives from the … Read more

Inland Flood Defence

A National Audit Office report today highlights research by MAFF that up to two million homes and buildings in England are in areas at risk of flooding. The key points in the report to Parliament by NAO head Sir John Bourn are that: while flood defences can reduce the risk or extent of damage, they … Read more

The Medical Assessment of Incapacity and Disability Benefits

In a report to Parliament today, head of the NAO Sir John Bourn recognised that the outsourcing of the Department of Social Security’s medical assessment service had reduced costs and speeded up the turnaround of work. But the standard of medical assessments and the quality of service to benefit customers need to improve. The service … Read more