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Accommodation services for the Department for Work and Pensions: Transfer of property to the private sector

“The Department got what it required at a good price. Where public bodies can show that a non-competitive negotiation is the best option, the approach used for the expansion of the PRIME contract provides a number of lessons on how to achieve good value for money – which should applied in future.”

Published:
26 Jan 2005

Allocation and management of risk in Ministry of Defence PFI projects

“Most of the private finance projects in its portfolio of more than 50 have been delivered successfully by the Ministry of Defence. But the Department needs to be more alert to the risks that can emerge once the project is up and running, such as inaccurate performance reporting. It could also reduce procurement times by speeding up its decision-making, and by collecting better information at the outset on current and prospective use of the service and the condition of assets.”

Published:
30 Oct 2008
Army Infantry

Army 2020

The MOD decision to reduce the size of the regular Army and increase the number of trained Army reserves was taken without appropriate testing of feasibility or evaluation of risk.

Published:
11 Jun 2014

Asylum accommodation and support

This report examines the government’s replacement of the COMPASS contracts for accommodation and support for asylum seekers.

Published:
3 Jul 2020

Awarding the new licence to run the National Lottery

“The Commission’s decision to award the second licence to Camelot was soundly based. However there are constraints which may deter potential bidders and unless decisive steps are taken there may well be no competitive pressure next time. The Commission and the Department must do all they can to level the playing field and eliminate unnecessary demands on bidders.”

Published:
10 May 2002

Benchmarking and market testing the ongoing services component of PFI projects

“It is important that public officials test the cost and quality of facilities services to get value for money during the life of a PFI contract. My report highlights lessons in how value-testing should be carried out. In particular, public officials must have the necessary skills, must promote vigorous competition when value testing, and they must have a full understanding of whether and how the private sector’s price and service proposals offer value for money.”

The report recommends that the recent Treasury guidance be taken up by departments and that the Treasury should continue liaising with departments to identify suitable cost data to use in benchmarking. The NAO also urges that further steps should be taken to compare the cost and quality of facilities services under the PFI with conventional outsourcing experience.

Published:
6 Jun 2007

Big science: Public investment in large scientific facilities

“The introduction of a shared plan covering all the Research Councils is beginning to deliver new large facilities which will be available to scientists from across the research base. Improvements are needed however, if the benefit of the current planned £1.2 billion investment in scientific facilities is to be maximised. Before a project is approved, the range of scientific, industrial and economic benefits should be consistently specified.

“The full financial impact of a facility also needs to be better understood to make sure that only those projects which are sustainable in the long term are selected. More consistent application of Government-wide project review procedures and greater sharing of procurement practices would help teams to deliver timely and economical projects.”

Published:
24 Jan 2007

Building for the future: Sustainable construction and refurbishment on the government estate

“When I last reported on construction in 2005, I emphasised the need to consider both the costs and benefits over the whole life of a building, not just the initial capital required. Despite this, today’s report highlights a continuing failure by departments to consider the long-term value of sustainability in their new builds and refurbishments. This is particularly disappointing given the importance of sustainability in promoting a deeper understanding of value for money.

“Government departments and agencies spend in the region of £3 billion each year on new builds and major refurbishments. If sustainability is well handled, and addressed at the very beginning of construction projects, it can and should provide better value for money in the long term.”

Published:
20 Apr 2007