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Cover of report showing a circuitboard landscape

Improving IT procurement: The impact of the Office of Government Commerce’s initiatives on departments and suppliers in

“Government Departments have a chequered history in the handling of IT-enabled projects and programmes. OGC has made significant strides in identifying reasons for past failure and in establishing structures, such as Gateway Reviews, that allow for increased scrutiny and independent check upon the feasibility and progress of IT-enabled projects and programmes. These remain, however, early days and my report makes recommendations to build on these foundations in order to reduce the likelihood of future failure.”

Published:
5 Nov 2004
Report cover

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority Account 2001-2002

“I am concerned that the Authority could not determine how much income was properly due to it. However, I am pleased to report that it is making progress: both in quantifying the level of unbilled income and in developing new procedures which would enable it to demonstrate to me that all income due has been identified.

“I will continue to monitor progress and will consider the action taken by the Authority to resolve this issue.”

Published:
18 Jul 2002
Report cover showing a woman, a computer and digital world

Government on the Web

“The advent of the Internet and World Wide Web challenges all departments to reconsider how they communicate with citizens and organise their business procedures. It offers the potential to achieve very significant improvements in the quality of their services and important financial savings”.

Published:
15 Dec 1999
Pupils looking at whiteboard

Further education and skills sector: implementing the Simplification Plan

A plan by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills to reduce complexity and administrative burdens in the further education and skills sector, despite improving some processes, has had only limited impact on providers’ costs.

Published:
4 Dec 2014
Report cover showing child balancing coins

Financial Management in the Department for Children, Schools and Families

“The Department has made progress in integrating financial management with its strategic and corporate planning. There is room for a better understanding of costs attributable to each of the Department’s strategic objectives. The Department could usefully consult further with delivery organisations such as local authorities to see what might be done here. It also needs to improve its management of financial risks, and to use the introduction of new finance systems to improve financial reporting and forecasting.”

In 2007-08 the Department’s expenditure totalled £48.9 billion and around £40 billion (82 per cent of the Department’s spending) was spent on schools or services to support schools.

The Department has built up a large capital underspend, which is around £2.4 billion at the end of March 2009. In 2007-08 the balance increased by £654 million to £1.9 billion and 2008-09 figures will show that this increased to around £2.4 billion by the end of March 2009.

Schools build up surpluses when they do not spend their full budgets and carry over the balances to future years. An excessive surplus is defined by the Department as being greater than five per cent of annual budget for secondary schools and greater than eight per cent for nursery, primary and special schools. At 31 March 2008 nearly 40 per cent of schools had excessive cumulative surpluses and 22 per cent had held an excessive cumulative surplus for at least the last three years.

Accruals accounting is an accounting convention under which transactions are recognised as the underlying economic events occur, irrespective of the timing of cash receipts and payments related to these transactions. Under accruals accounting, expenditure incurred or income earned, but not yet paid or received, are included in the accounts in the period when they were incurred or earned. This differs from cash accounting where income and expenditure are recognised when the cash is received or paid respectively.

Published:
30 Apr 2009
Report cover showing two people looking at a computer screen

Extending access to learning through technology: Ufi and the learndirect service

“learndirect is a major innovative feat that within a few short years has become the largest education provider of its type in the world. It is attracting large numbers of learners who otherwise would not have undertaken learning. Management and administration costs have reduced with time but still take up too large a portion of the budget. They need to be streamlined so that more money can go into services for learners, and to increase the emphasis on small- and medium-sized businesses.”

Published:
4 Nov 2005