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Cover of Staying Safe Online publication

NAO Memorandum: Staying Safe Online

Staying Safe Online covers two Government funded initiatives which aim to educate members of the public about how to stay safe online: Get Safe Online is for adults and small businesses and ThinkuKnow is aimed at parents, teachers and young people. Both initiatives have achieved good value for their limited resources, using cost effective means to disseminate advice.

 

However, the public is presented with a wide range of advice on the use of the internet from many different websites provided by Government and others. Only 6 of the 17 Government websites with internet security information referred to Get Safe Online. There is a risk of duplicated effort, confusing advice and failure to share information. The Government now needs to synchronise efforts to promote Get Safe Online and ThinkuKnow as sources of advice.

Published:
5 Feb 2010
tractor

A second progress update on the administration of the Single Payment Scheme by the Rural Payments Agency

“This is the third time we have looked at the Single Payment Scheme and there are still significant issues to be resolved. There has been a serious lack of attention to the protection of taxpayers’ interests over the administration of the scheme.  There has been a lack of senior management ownership of the scheme in the Agency and DEFRA, even though the risks were previously highlighted by the Committee of Public Accounts.

 

“Previous assurances on overall progress in recovering overpayments from farmers proved optimistic and reflect a lack of reliable information on actual progress.  DEFRA should urgently address the risks to ongoing IT system support and the inaccuracy of the scheme’s data, explore alternative payment systems and resolve the ongoing management issues.”

 

Published:
15 Oct 2009
NAO report cover

Report of the C&AG on the 2008-09 Resource Accounts of the Ministry of Defence

“At this time of high operational demand, it is more important than ever for the Ministry of Defence to have accurate records of where its assets are, and how much stock it has. It must also have a military pay process which is fit for purpose. Although the Ministry of Defence has made some improvements to its Payroll and HR systems over the past year, I consider that there are important issues which have not been fully addressed and further significant changes are required.”

Published:
20 Jul 2009
Report cover showing new technology at work in government.

Innovation across central government

“Despite the large sums of money being invested in encouraging innovation, central government isn’t making the most of the opportunities to improve the delivery of public services. Innovation within service delivery is vital and government must be sure that it encourages staff to contribute, listens to the people who use its services and measures what it is getting for the investment made.”

Published:
26 Mar 2009
Cover of NAO rept: The BBC's management of strategic contracts

The BBC’s management of strategic contracts with the private sector

“The Trust welcomes this report from the NAO into the BBC’s strategic contracts. We are pleased that the NAO found that the BBC has exceeded its own savings targets for these contracts. However, we recognise that there is more to be done to ensure consistency in the way the BBC manages large contracts. The BBC Executive has now set out its response to the NAO’s recommendations. The Trust has required the Executive to provide an action plan and timetable for this response to be implemented.”

Tim Burr, Comptroller and Auditor General, said:

“The BBC has kept its spending on strategic contracts in line with its forecasts and exceeded its savings targets. It now needs to concentrate on securing the levels of service for which it has paid – as well as achieving greater innovation – to provide the BBC and licence fee payers with value for money.”

The NAO review looked at whether the BBC is securing the service and financial objectives the Corporation outlined when it entered into high value, individual strategic contracts and whether adequate steps have been taken to maximise the value for money of its portfolio of strategic contracts.

The report found that the BBC spent £715 million on strategic contracts in 2007-08, in line with forecasts, and exceeded its savings target of £135 million by £22 million. The BBC has secured the contractually agreed minimum levels of service for 91 per cent of the indicators specified when it entered its strategic contracts where those indicators are linked to payment and 82 per cent of performance indicators not linked to payment. However, the BBC has not secured as much innovation by the contractors as it expected on some contracts. The BBC has not, therefore, achieved the full range or level of performance specified in its strategic contracts.

Overall, across five contracts examined, the BBC’s approach to relationship management was above average compared to other organisations in the public and private sectors. Although the BBC has examples of good practice in contract management its contract and relationship management with its private sector suppliers is variable. The Corporation needs consistently to follow best practice.

The report has identified a series of recommendations to improve the management of strategic contracts at the BBC.

The Trust welcomes the work that the NAO has done on identifying ways in which the BBC Executive can improve its contact management. The Trust notes that the report acknowledges the formation of the BBC’s Strategic Relationships Board, which will share issues, best practice and become a focal point for reporting. The Trust also expects the BBC Executive to undertake a more robust annual review of contracts and introduce greater senior management involvement in underperforming contracts. The Trust has asked the Executive to prepare an action plan and timetable and report back progress.

The Trust supports the BBC Executive’s progress in developing the expertise of its contract managers and the development of a set of core competencies for contract management. The Trust also supports the BBC Executive’s plans to develop a structured approach to the professional development of contract managers.

The Trust notes that the BBC Executive has completed an audit with JCI and currently has audits with Siemens and Capita TVL in progress. Additionally the BBC Executive routinely interrogates data from contracts suppliers and has arrangements to see annual cost data. The Trust supports open book audits whenever appropriate.

The Trust welcomes the BBC Executive’s undertaking that the Strategic Relationships Board will undertake a review of all the performance measures across the BBC’s portfolio of contracts.

The Trust notes that, although the BBC Executive has methods of ensuring performance across the portfolio of contracts, performance is not systematically validated against all performance indicators as a matter of routine. The Trust welcomes the Executive’s undertaking to introduce a process of sample validation across the key contracts.

Media contacts:

Ben Wiseman
Communications Officer, BBC Trust
t: 020 7208 9558
m: 07730 194 019
f: 020 7208 9670

Phil Groves
Press Officer, National Audit Office
t: 020 7798 5339
m: 07770 678477

Published:
18 Mar 2009
Cover of NAO rept: The BBC's management of strategic contracts

The BBC’s management of strategic contracts with the private sector

“The Trust welcomes this report from the NAO into the BBC’s strategic contracts. We are pleased that the NAO found that the BBC has exceeded its own savings targets for these contracts. However, we recognise that there is more to be done to ensure consistency in the way the BBC manages large contracts. The BBC Executive has now set out its response to the NAO’s recommendations. The Trust has required the Executive to provide an action plan and timetable for this response to be implemented.”

Tim Burr, Comptroller and Auditor General, said:

“The BBC has kept its spending on strategic contracts in line with its forecasts and exceeded its savings targets. It now needs to concentrate on securing the levels of service for which it has paid – as well as achieving greater innovation – to provide the BBC and licence fee payers with value for money.”

The NAO review looked at whether the BBC is securing the service and financial objectives the Corporation outlined when it entered into high value, individual strategic contracts and whether adequate steps have been taken to maximise the value for money of its portfolio of strategic contracts.

The report found that the BBC spent £715 million on strategic contracts in 2007-08, in line with forecasts, and exceeded its savings target of £135 million by £22 million. The BBC has secured the contractually agreed minimum levels of service for 91 per cent of the indicators specified when it entered its strategic contracts where those indicators are linked to payment and 82 per cent of performance indicators not linked to payment. However, the BBC has not secured as much innovation by the contractors as it expected on some contracts. The BBC has not, therefore, achieved the full range or level of performance specified in its strategic contracts.

Overall, across five contracts examined, the BBC’s approach to relationship management was above average compared to other organisations in the public and private sectors. Although the BBC has examples of good practice in contract management its contract and relationship management with its private sector suppliers is variable. The Corporation needs consistently to follow best practice.

The report has identified a series of recommendations to improve the management of strategic contracts at the BBC.

The Trust welcomes the work that the NAO has done on identifying ways in which the BBC Executive can improve its contact management. The Trust notes that the report acknowledges the formation of the BBC’s Strategic Relationships Board, which will share issues, best practice and become a focal point for reporting. The Trust also expects the BBC Executive to undertake a more robust annual review of contracts and introduce greater senior management involvement in underperforming contracts. The Trust has asked the Executive to prepare an action plan and timetable and report back progress.

The Trust supports the BBC Executive’s progress in developing the expertise of its contract managers and the development of a set of core competencies for contract management. The Trust also supports the BBC Executive’s plans to develop a structured approach to the professional development of contract managers.

The Trust notes that the BBC Executive has completed an audit with JCI and currently has audits with Siemens and Capita TVL in progress. Additionally the BBC Executive routinely interrogates data from contracts suppliers and has arrangements to see annual cost data. The Trust supports open book audits whenever appropriate.

The Trust welcomes the BBC Executive’s undertaking that the Strategic Relationships Board will undertake a review of all the performance measures across the BBC’s portfolio of contracts.

The Trust notes that, although the BBC Executive has methods of ensuring performance across the portfolio of contracts, performance is not systematically validated against all performance indicators as a matter of routine. The Trust welcomes the Executive’s undertaking to introduce a process of sample validation across the key contracts.

Media contacts:

Ben Wiseman
Communications Officer, BBC Trust
t: 020 7208 9558
m: 07730 194 019
f: 020 7208 9670

Phil Groves
Press Officer, National Audit Office
t: 020 7798 5339
m: 07770 678477

Published:
18 Mar 2009