1 Feb 2001
1 Feb 2001
Education Action Zones: Meeting the Challenge – The Lessons Identified From Auditing the First 25 Zones
“I am glad that we are able to provide positive assurance about the way that the Department for Education and Employment handled the establishment of these new charitable bodies. Innovation such as the action zones programme carries risks and the department has taken the right steps to mitigate the financial risks in particular.
“The wider lessons learned from the establishment of the zones can be applied to other government programmes involving the setting up of innovative new bodies.”
26 Jan 2001
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport: The Re-negotiation of the PFI-type Deal for the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds
Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, reported to Parliament today that the Royal Armouries* in July 1999 successfully negotiated a revised deal with Royal Armouries (International) plc** (“RAI”) which ensured that the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds remained open. The revised deal has also made it possible for the future redevelopment of … Read more
18 Jan 2001
“In designing and implementing the gold sales programme so far the Treasury has done well. In its further review of the programme the Treasury should consider whether there are opportunities to strengthen the handling of the sales further.”
12 Jan 2001
“With Government plans to increase infrastructure spending to £19 billion over the next three years, the need for widespread implementation of good practice now has a greater degree of urgency.
“This report highlights the urgent need for change in the procurement and management of new construction, refurbishment and repair and maintenance. The problems of the construction industry have been well described in the many reports on the industry, the solutions to many of these problems have been identified – there is now no excuse for not getting it right.
“I hope that my report will provide encouragement to those in the construction industry and their clients who are already changing and motivation to those who are finding the challenge more difficult.”
The Office of Government Commerce, the Treasury and the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions welcomed the NAO report for providing very real encouragement to those who were already working to change their construction practices.
11 Jan 2001
Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, told Parliament today that since electricity supply competition began in September 1998 more than 6.5 million customers – one in four – have saved money by changing supplier. Domestic electricity customers as a whole have seen their electricity bills fall by some £750 million a year since … Read more
5 Jan 2001
“The National Topographic Database is a unique national asset, the creation of which has been funded from public money over the years.
“Because I disagree with the view taken by the Ordnance Survey on the appropriate accounting treatment for this database, I have qualified my opinion on the Agency’s first set of accounts as a Trading Fund. The failure by the Ordnance Survey to recognise the database as a tangible fixed asset means that the Agency’s accounts do not provide Parliament with a true and fair view of the publicly owned assets under the Agency’s stewardship.
“Finally, and speaking more broadly, at a time when Ministers have decided, and Parliament has endorsed, that all central government departments and agencies should move to a new regime of resource accounts, wherein more attention is to be paid to the valuation of assets than had ever been the practice under the old style cash accounts, it is surprising to find an important body like Ordnance Survey seeking to turn its back on the thrust of the new approach.”
20 Dec 2000
“The availability of blood is essential to the NHS and many people owe their lives to transfusions that were made possible by voluntary donations of blood. The National Blood Service has had to change the blood service from a regional to a national one, cope with the emergence of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and, at the same time, maintain supplies to hospitals of sufficient safe blood.
This process of change has been accompanied by some controversy and appeared to lose momentum at one stage. But the indications are that the Service has made good progress towards providing an effective national service.”
20 Dec 2000
“London Underground and the Secretary of State should not take a decision solely on the basis of the numbers emerging from their financial analysis. There are other important factors that need to be considered alongside the figures to assess the best value for money option.”
15 Dec 2000
“My report provides a large measure of assurance about the Inland Revenue’s administration of petroleum revenue tax. I endorse the Department’s policy of continuing to develop its risk-based approach to the tax. Closer working with other government agencies and regular assessment of performance will help ensure that resources remain focused on areas of higher risk.”
14 Dec 2000