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Cover of Increased Resources report

Increased resources to improve public services – a progress report on departments’ preparations

“This unprecedented increase in public spending equates to £1,000 for every person in the UK. I continue to examine the value for money of individual projects and schemes but this report gives the opportunity to set out the fundamental issues that all departments need to address in the coming months and years in order to deliver a truly improved public service.”

Published:
28 Jan 2004
Cover of report

Ministry of Defence: Major Projects Report 2003

“Although it is good news that the MOD expects to meet the technical requirements of the armed forces, I am disappointed by the large rises in costs and delays on four older projects in particular. There are encouraging signs that some projects are performing better on cost and time, but it is worrying that others seem to be following the historic patterns of cost increases and slippages as they mature. The MOD recognises the challenge these concerns present and is giving new impetus to the development of improved acquisition. Its approach to managing risk continues to develop, but there is evidence that risks on some projects have still not been sufficiently reduced. Future Major Projects Reports will assess whether this management of risk can be translated into better cost and time control.”

Published:
23 Jan 2004
Cover of report

National Insurance Fund Account 2002-2003

“The Inland Revenue continue to face challenges in maintaining individuals’ National Insurance contribution records, upon which large amounts of the public’s benefit entitlement depend. The quality of the contributions information received from employers remains a particular and enduring difficulty that various measures are addressing.”

Published:
22 Jan 2004
Youth offending - vandals

Youth Offending: the delivery of community and custodial sentences

“The Youth Justice Board has done much to implement reforms to the youth justice system, but more needs to be done to rehabilitate young offenders within the community to reduce risks of reoffending. The movement of young offenders from one institution to another can be unsettling for offenders, breaking developing relationships with those responsible for their supervision, and disrupting educational and other programmes intended to help prevent reoffending. Better assessment of custodial needs, and more recognition of offenders’ progress with their programmes when deciding who to move, would be beneficial.

“And better co-ordination by all agencies involved in supervising young offenders in the community or in providing appropriate support services for such young people would reduce uncertainty for some offenders about accommodation, education or employment on completion of their sentence.”

Published:
21 Jan 2004
Public sewer network - man in a tunnel

Out of Sight – Not Out of Mind: Ofwat and the Public Sewer Network in England and Wales

“While incidents of sewer flooding in properties are relatively rare, few could deny that it is highly distressing. This must be especially so for those who suffer repeat incidents. And the harm to the environment should not be dismissed. That is why I have made these recommendations to encourage the work that is already being done to reduce the risks of sewer flooding.”

Published:
16 Jan 2004
Passenger plane

Refinancing the Public Private Partnership for National Air Traffic Services

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, reported today that the refinancing of the public private partnership for NATS, completed late last year, has put the Company on a much more robust financial footing, enabling it to make further vital investment to expand the capacity of Air Traffic Control to meet future growth … Read more

Published:
7 Jan 2004
Report cover

HM Customs and Excise: Standard Report 2002-03

“I am pleased to note the innovative changes made by Customs to better manage their relations with key stakeholders. The developments to date reveal a number of areas of good practice, for instance, closer co-operation with and understanding of traders, and the provision of dedicated points of contact for large businesses. The key test, though, remains the extent to which these measures will improve revenue yields.

“The development of a longer term strategy to manage the risks of alcohol fraud is also to be welcomed, although Customs will need to ensure effective cross-departmental communication if it is to be successfully implemented.”

Published:
18 Dec 2003