Posts tagged: "Regulation & consumer protection"
Posted on January 23, 2018 by Peter Langham
For more than a decade, successive governments have increased the extent to which higher education functions as a market. With higher education student debts typically totalling £50,000, going to university is now one of the biggest financial decisions of a person’s life. Yet the decision is made with limited ability to know the value of the investment, and with less consumer protection than other complex products. Our recent report on The higher education market applied our Market Analytic Toolkit: for assessing public service markets and found students have insufficient help and advice, and institutions have little competitive pressure to provide best value. more… Is the market for higher education working?
Posted on October 24, 2017 by Elliott White
Have you ever wanted to find out how the headline data will affect you? The NAO analyses a lot of data in our work and we’ve increasingly been allowing you to explore this data, where possible. Recent interactive data tools we’ve created cover consumer protection cases, the housing market and homelessness, and the Whole of Government Accounts. In light of the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) plans about the future of Jobcentre Plus, our latest interactive data model allows you to explore the impact of its plans on journey times to jobcentres around England. more… How will it affect me? Exploring the data
Posted on August 18, 2017 by Jacob Holliday
High profile incidents remind individuals and organisations just how important it is to manage potential conflicts of interest. In March 2017, the Court of the Bank of England commissioned a review of the institution’s approach to managing conflicts of interest. The review was prompted by the resignation of Charlotte Hogg who had been Deputy Governor for Markets and Banking. A report from the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee published in March 2017 had raised concerns about her compliance with the Bank’s rules governing conflicts of interest. As part of its Review the Bank invited the NAO to contribute a briefing paper on managing conflicts of interest. It’s a timely opportunity for the whole public sector to consider whether it’s managing conflicts of interest effectively. more… Managing conflicts of interest and keeping public trust
Tagged: Accountability, Business operations, Conflict of interest, Contract management, Cross-government, Employee engagement, Good practice principles, International, Investigations, Local government, Regulation & consumer protection, Reporting, Risk management
Posted on June 23, 2017 by Tom McDonald
WannaCry, the 12th of May global cyber attack, brought home clearly one of the key cyber security risks to government services: loss of access to data. This ransomware attack didn’t target the NHS, but the NHS was particularly affected by it, causing extensive disruption to patients and healthcare for a week. With digital transformation of public services a key government priority, what lessons from this episode can the government learn to protect public services from cyber attacks? more… WannaCry: what does it mean for government?
Posted on March 30, 2017 by Bob Shambler
Mark Felt’s exposure of the Watergate scandal brought down President Nixon; Julie Bailey’s campaign led to the investigation into the failings of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust; Sherron Watkins’ exposure of the Enron scandal led to wider questioning of US company accounting practices and contributed to new accounting and accountability laws. Whistleblowing plays a crucial role in transparency, provides a highly valuable early warning system for organisations and drives a wide range of improvements. Would you know how to whistleblow? Would you feel safe from reprisal? The NAO has put out a series of reports on whistleblowing, and I recently drew on these to share the UK’s experience of whistleblowing arrangements at a Mexican conference on international best practice. more… Whistleblowing good practice
Posted on January 27, 2017 by Tom Tyson
Have you been ‘nudged’ into a workplace pension? Feel up to speed with changes to the state pension? Confident you’ll have a comfortable retirement? Worried there’ll be more changes – to your pension schemes and/or pension age? Do you understand who does what in the world of pensions? With pension reforms shifting responsibility for retirement planning to individuals and away from the state, to provide clarity, we’ve just launched a Pensions Landscape site to explain who does what in this complex landscape and the key challenges facing the government. more… Navigating a changing pensions landscape
Posted on January 23, 2017 by Charles Nancarrow
Scams, unfair trading, e-crime, unsafe goods – these harmed consumers to the tune of £14.8 billion in 2014-15. And that’s just the estimate of the problems tackled by consumer protection bodies; you may not even be aware of times you’ve been a victim of unfair trading. With poor consumer awareness and threats to consumers becoming increasingly complex and wide-ranging we, the Regulation, Consumers and Competition team, recently published a report. We describe here the types of consumer detriment, who’s responsible for protecting consumers, and what all this means for consumers. more… Do you feel protected as a consumer?
Posted on November 28, 2016 by Richard Davis
Government aims to achieve its Business Impact Target by cutting £10 billion from businesses’ regulatory costs. Do businesses notice any difference? Are departments too bogged down with the bureaucracy resulting from the government’s complex accounting rules to be effective deregulators? Is the government’s focus on business costs at the expense of consumer and environmental protection? With claims of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ accounting from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), there’s a need for transparency, evaluation and better prioritisation. more… Regulation through the looking glass
Posted on November 22, 2016 by Charles Nancarrow
What do energy suppliers, railways, doctors and rubbish collectors have in common? The answer: they, and many others, deliver essential services that involve, to a greater or lesser extent, a ‘market mechanism’. In a world with a wide range of public service delivery mechanisms, including direct service provision (the military, tax collectors, police, NHS A&E services etc.) our new public service Market Analytic Toolkit is the latest NAO resource designed to help government address a set of new challenges around its use of markets to deliver public services, including oversight, consumer protection, regulation and helping to achieve effective competition and innovative delivery. more… Making public sector markets work
Posted on November 4, 2016 by Simon Banner
Are you achieving what you planned to achieve? Most NAO reports stress the need to measure performance. But how do you do it and use that information to get the best you can with the resources you have? How do you avoid the risk that (only) ‘what gets measured, gets done’? And how do you do measure performance when – like regulators and many others – you don’t have direct control over the outcomes, but must influence others? There are many lessons of widespread value in our new guide, Performance measurement by regulators, which focuses on the particular challenge for those who regulate the products and services so important to our daily lives, such as utilities, transport, health, food and financial services. more… Measuring performance delivered through others