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Report cover showing primary school children eager to answer a question in class

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.”

Published:
26 Jan 2001
Report cover showing illustration of a man reaching for a large carrot

Supporting Innovation: Managing Risk in Government Departments

“This report aims to stimulate and encourage good practice in risk management. There are inevitable risks associated with new ways of working as departments strive to improve and modernise the delivery of public services for the benefit of citizens and businesses. Properly managed, risk taking and innovation can lead to improved value for money for taxpayers.”

Published:
17 Aug 2000
Report cover showing brochures

National Savings: Public-Private Partnership with Siemens Business Services

“This is one of the most remarkable PFI deals we have seen because it has resulted in the transfer to private sector employment of all but some 130 staff of an entire Government department. The number of staff employed on National Savings work will fall but the deal has been structured in such a way that SBS is incentivised to find alternative work for its new employees. There are a number of lessons that other Government departments can learn from this partnership, particularly how National Savings procured the deal and the framework established to manage the partnership with SBS.”

Published:
25 May 2000
Report cover showing a college

Managing Finances in English Further Education Colleges

“My report shows that the financial state of the sector is improving but there are still too many colleges in poor financial health. Governors and managers can make a vital contribution to their colleges’ financial condition and the best practice I have identified should help colleges with problems to overcome their difficulties effectively.”

David Melville, chief executive of the Further Education Funding Council (FEFC) said:

“We welcome Sir John Bourn’s report and the recommendations for improving colleges’ financial health. We would like colleges to make more use of benchmarking comparisons to identify the means and scope for financial improvement. We will be actively promoting groups of colleges as ‘benchmarking families’ in the future. Through this initiative we will continue to put colleges into contact with others with a similar profile leading to the useful sharing of knowledge and consequent improvements in performance. However, the success of this initiative depends on reliable and prompt data from colleges.

“We will be working with Further Education Development Agency to develop a standard course-costing model together with common financial and management information systems.”

Published:
4 May 2000
Report cover showing a computer keyboard

Inland Revenue EDS Strategic Partnership: Award of New Work

“Partnerships like the one between the Inland Revenue and EDS, rely on trust and understanding between two organisations, qualities which are particularly important as requirements change and develop. Management of the risks associated with new work is therefore a challenging area for value for money. Much has already been achieved, and the Department must ensure that it retains the capability to manage the relationship and keep its options open for the future.”

Published:
29 Mar 2000
Report cover showing a group of workers

Scottish Enterprise: Skillseekers Training for Young People

Scottish Enterprise’s Skillseekers programme had made considerable progress in delivering Vocational Qualifications for young people at reducing unit cost. There are, however, a number of ways that Scottish Enterprise and Local Enterprise Companies (LECs) can build on their successes, Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, reported to the Scottish Parliament today. Skillseekers … Read more

Published:
1 Mar 2000
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