This series of papers summarises the methodological approaches we have taken in carrying out innovative or novel analysis. Such analysis is conducted under our statutory authority to examine and report to Parliament on the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which government departments and other bodies have used their resources.

The Audit insights papers are methodological summaries and do not make new observations about value for money.

Cross Government

Investigating the volume and readability of guidance on the government’s GOV.UK website

This paper sets out how we used a technique called “webscraping” to harvest and analyse textual content from the government’s GOV.UK website.

Investigating the volume and readability of guidance on the government’s GOV.UK website(pdf – 224KB)

Work and pensions

Estimating the impact of benefit sanctions on the employment outcomes of sanctioned individuals

This paper sets out how we used instrumental variables to estimate the impact of benefit sanctions on the employment outcomes of sanctioned individuals in the Work Programme – a large welfare-to-work programme for the long-term unemployed.

Estimating the impact of benefit sanctions on the employment outcomes of sanctioned individuals pdf – 111KB)

See also, our report:  Benefits sanctions (Nov 2016)

Regulation

Investigating the potential impacts of cost of debt indexation in the water sector

This paper sets out how we constructed a counterfactual to establish how much water customers in England and Wales could have benefited from an alternative charging system between 2010/11 and 2014/15.

Investigating the potential impacts of cost of debt indexation in the water sector (pdf – 124KB)

Health

Investigating the characteristics of A&E attendances by mental health service users

This paper sets out how we used NHS administrative data to compare the characteristics of A&E attendances by mental health service users to those of the rest of the population.

Investigating the characteristics of A&E attendances by mental health service users (pdf – 146KB)

Driving improvements in NHS stroke care: evaluating the impact

This paper sets out how we used existing data to estimate the impact of our value for money work on stroke care.

Driving improvements in NHS stroke care: evaluating the impact (pdf -164KB)

Investigating the impact of out-of-hours GP services on A&E attendance rates: multilevel regression analysis

This paper sets out how we used an analytical technique called multilevel regression modelling to investigate the factors affecting levels of attendance at accident and emergency (A&E) departments by patients registered at a GP practice.

Investigating the impact of out-of-hours GP services on A&E attendance rates: multilevel regression analysis

Mapping between different commissioners of healthcare

This paper sets out how we created look-up files to map between different commissioning geographies. This enabled us, for example, to estimate overall health funding at an area-level despite the different geographical bases of the various commissioners. We provide links to these look-up files.

Mapping between different commissioners of healthcare (pdf – 288KB)

Mapping between PCTs and CCGs – matrices (xls – 708KB)

Modelling of maternity services in England

This paper sets out how we used a modelling technique called ‘discrete event simulation’ to investigate a local maternity service.

Modelling of maternity services in England (pdf – 101KB)