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National Audit Office report: Confirmed impacts: Investigating potential conflicts of interest in procurement

Confirmed impacts: Investigating potential conflicts of interest in procurement

This impacts case study shows how our investigation highlighted risks in stewardship over the use of public funds by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), which led PHSO to develop an action plan to improve procurement policy, practice and effectiveness. It is one example of financial or non-financial benefits realised in 2014 as a result of our involvement, all of which are set out in our interactive PDF.

Impacts case study

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) began a change programme in early 2012. Following an internal audit of costs associated with the programme, we noted concerns regarding the management of conflicts of interest in procuring services during the transitional period covered by the change programme. We published a report that confirmed we had found no evidence of material irregularity, or undue influence in procurements arising from conflict of interest. We did however note that, as a result of the issues noted in report, PHSO may be exposed to criticism that it had not exercised the expected stewardship and governance over public funds.

What are impacts?

PHSO reflected our findings in the Governance Statement that was published in their 2013-14 Annual Report and Accounts, noting and responding to material weaknesses in procurement policy, practice and effectiveness. The Statement also included a Procurement Policy and Practice action plan with progress against this plan reported regularly to the Ombudsman and Audit Committee.

 

Publication details:

Published date: October 15, 2015