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Individual Learning Accounts

“In some respects, this was a very good and innovative scheme: it was popular and encouraged many people to acquire or update much needed skills. But the speed with which the Department implemented the scheme resulted in corners being cut. Poor planning and risk management by the Department led to weaknesses in the system which made fraudulent activities possible. And the Department did not keep their eye on the quality of the learning and on the indications that a few unscrupulous providers were taking advantage of the inadequate security arrangements.

“I look to the Department to take account of these lessons when devising and implementing the new scheme.”

Published:
25 Oct 2002

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

Better Public Services through e-government

“A significant amount of taxpayers’ money is being spent on delivering public services through electronic means. We have found examples of innovative practice but there is much to do to realise the full potential from using internet technology and ensure a sufficient number of people use public services delivered electronically. The major challenge is to get services on-line and to encourage and enable people to use them. Otherwise the considerable potential gains in departments’ efficiency will not be delivered and large amounts of public money will have been wasted.”

Published:
4 Apr 2002

Delivering the Commercialisation of Public Sector Science

“I have said on many occasions that I support worthwhile and well thought through innovation and risk taking in the public sector. Successful commercial projects building on the excellence of our scientific research offer the prospect of valuable benefits for the country. A real commitment to success and a thorough approach to managing the risks involved in these projects is vita.”

Published:
8 Feb 2002

Teachers’ Pension Scheme (England and Wales) Resource Account 2000-2001

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, today reported to Parliament on the 2000-2001 Teachers’ Pension Scheme (England and Wales) Resource Account. He has limited the scope of the audit opinion because the Managers of the Scheme were unable to provide him at the date of his opinion with sufficient evidence to support … Read more

Published:
8 Feb 2002

Ministry of Defence: The Joint Services Command and Staff College

“The Ministry of Defence is to be congratulated on its success in establishing the new College. Its success demonstrates the benefits of departments showing clear direction and strong leadership when managing change. The College is at the forefront of good practice in its methods for evaluating training and benchmarking, with a strategy that will be of interest to other public sector training bodies.”

Published:
7 Feb 2002

Improving student achievement in English higher education

Student achievement rates in English higher education institutions have remained high during a period of considerable expansion of student numbers, although rates vary widely between institutions. The higher education sector will have to recruit and retain more students from hitherto poorly represented social groups and help them to succeed if the government’s learning targets are … Read more

Published:
18 Jan 2002

Widening participation in higher education in England

Student achievement rates in English higher education institutions have remained high during a period of considerable expansion of student numbers, although rates vary widely between institutions. The higher education sector will have to recruit and retain more students from hitherto poorly represented social groups and help them to succeed if the government’s learning targets are … Read more

Published:
18 Jan 2002

NIRS 2: Contract extension

The Inland Revenue, when required to make major enhancements to its national insurance computer system (NIRS 2) to accommodate significant legislative changes, decided to award a contract extension to Accenture, its existing supplier. And, according to a report from the National Audit Office, published today, the contract extension: offered better value for money than the … Read more

Published:
14 Nov 2001