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Report cover image showing illustration of the globe and internet terminology

VAT on e-commerce

“I find it encouraging that HM Revenue and Customs is well positioned to manage the current risks to VAT from electronic commerce. With internet sales set to mushroom in the next few years, the Department faces a challenge to ensure it stays ahead of the game. Some businesses are inventive at side-stepping VAT, and the Department must be equally innovative in guaranteeing the Exchequer gets the revenue it is due.”

Published:
26 May 2006
Report cover showing a cobbler

Supporting Small Business

“Government needs a better appreciation of its impact on small businesses, and simpler performance management arrangements, if it is to achieve its aim – to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business.”

Published:
24 May 2006
Report cover showing a power station

The Restructuring of British Energy

“The Department of Trade and Industry intervened when British Energy could no longer meet its debts. As a result the taxpayer is responsible for underwriting a large and uncertain liability. The scale of the net liability to be borne by the public purse will depend crucially on British Energy’s performance in future years. It is therefore vital that the Department keeps close scrutiny to ensure the taxpayer’s position is safeguarded”

Published:
17 Mar 2006
Report cover showing the MG rover emblem

The Closure of MG Rover

“MG Rover held an important position in the local economy and local communities of the West Midlands. It was therefore particularly important for the Department, and other public bodies, to be able to respond effectively when its difficulties became clear. This was no easy task. The Department did well to identity a series of scenarios that it might face, working up plans for how it and other public bodies would respond if the Company were to close. The Department’s decision making could, however, have been easier if it had been founded on earlier and more comprehensive contingency planning for other scenarios that could well take place, and in this case did.

“When the Company collapsed in April 2005, the various agencies at local level responded well to meet the immediate large increase in demand for their services. The prompt processing and payment of statutory redundancy pay and social security benefits helped many former employees and their families at a particularly stressful time.”

Published:
10 Mar 2006
Report cover showing a HM treasury publication

The Wider Markets Initiative

“Wider Markets projects should be seen as part and parcel of good asset management in the public sector. They offer the prospect of better public services at a lower overall cost. Many government departments have not done enough to look for such opportunities and so cannot be sure that they are fulfilling their responsibilities to provide value for money to the taxpayer.”

Published:
27 Jan 2006
Report cover showing a man working on a glass desk

Corporation Tax: Companies managed by HM Revenue and Customs’ Area offices

“I welcome the improvement in the Department’s management of Corporation Tax over the last five years, which has led to higher tax yields from fewer formal enquiries, bringing benefits to the Department and company taxpayers alike.

“My report highlights how HM Revenue & Customs can build on these achievements, by deploying its staff to focus its work on tax returns that pose the greatest risk, while helping companies to meet their obligations.”

Published:
13 Jan 2006
Report cover showing post office

Department of Trade and Industry: Financial Support for Post Offices

“Since 1983 the number of post offices has dropped by 7,000 to around 15,000. The Government faces some difficult decisions if it is to maintain a viable network of post offices. Although the rationalisation programme has put the remaining urban post offices on a firmer footing, their future is not guaranteed and the DTI must stay alert to this. It must also co-ordinate Government policy decisions on the future of rural post offices based on a sound understanding and assessment of the options.”

Published:
24 Feb 2005
Report cover showing windfarm at sea

Department of Trade and Industry: Renewable Energy

“The Renewables Obligation is increasing the level of renewable generation, and thus helping reduce carbon dioxide emissions, though at a price to the electricity consumer. The Department needs to keep track of the scheme’s progress in improving the commercial viability of renewable generation and ensure that consumers benefit from reductions in generation costs.”

Published:
11 Feb 2005
Cover of UK Emissions Trading Scheme report

The UK Emissions Trading Scheme: A New Way to Combat Climate Change

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, reported today that the Emissions Trading Scheme has brought about a reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases and that the Scheme has benefited the UK economy. He noted that, whilst some reductions were likely to have happened without the Scheme, most of the reductions were generated … Read more

Published:
21 Apr 2004
Report cover showing images from Cambridge and MIT

Cambridge-MIT Institute

“CMI has the potential to generate considerable impacts. Many of these will be long-term and are intrinsically difficult to measure. After a challenging start, I am pleased that CMI and the Department of Trade and Industry have been taking steps designed to maximise long-term success. Public sector organisations are increasingly expected to manage innovation, and we look to them to learn from the experience of CMI to improve their appraisal and management of innovative projects.”

Published:
17 Mar 2004