Impacts case study
We looked at contract management across government, following the over‑billing on Ministry of Justice’s electronic monitoring contracts and the subsequent cross‑government reviews. The government based its reviews on our 2008 Contract Management Good Practice Framework, and invited us to act as an observer on the oversight board. The reviews found systemic problems with the management of contracts across central government. Our 2014 reports identified a lack of senior engagement with and visibility of contracts as well as insufficient resourcing of contract management. The Committee of Public Accounts also held evidence sessions in 2014 on contract management. Our comparative report on contract management in the Ministry of Justice and Home Office highlighted the main areas where both departments had more to do. For example, following our observations the Ministry of Justice introduced strategic oversight of its key suppliers. Our comparative approach helped the departments collaborate more in dealing with common issues and in better defining good contract management practice.
What are impacts?
As a result of our work, the government accepted the need to improve the governance, information systems and structures needed to improve performance and provide greater assurance. There are improvements under way across government in response to this need. In addition, the government has introduced a major programme to reform the commercial profession and within this to improve contract management capability overall. The contracting industry largely accepted that it has a duty of care to the taxpayer and the need for improved transparency.