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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

Handling Clinical Negligence Claims in England

The enormous human and financial costs of clinical negligence are highlighted today in a National Audit Office report. The estimated net present value of claims outstanding against the NHS alleging clinical negligence has risen to £2.6 billion, plus an estimated liability of a further £1.3 billion where negligent episodes are likely to have occurred, but … Read more

Financial Management of the European Union

Sir John Bourn, the head of the National Audit Office, today reported to Parliament on the financial management of European funds. The European Commission has made some headway in implementing its programme of reforms, but it is too early to say how successful they will be in reducing levels of error and fraud. Sir John’s … Read more

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