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Report showing a government building

Building for the future: Sustainable construction and refurbishment on the government estate

“When I last reported on construction in 2005, I emphasised the need to consider both the costs and benefits over the whole life of a building, not just the initial capital required. Despite this, today’s report highlights a continuing failure by departments to consider the long-term value of sustainability in their new builds and refurbishments. This is particularly disappointing given the importance of sustainability in promoting a deeper understanding of value for money.

“Government departments and agencies spend in the region of £3 billion each year on new builds and major refurbishments. If sustainability is well handled, and addressed at the very beginning of construction projects, it can and should provide better value for money in the long term.”

Published:
20 Apr 2007

CandAG’s Report on Accounts: Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) Appropriation Accounts 1999-2000

“I am concerned at the significant delays in achieving the final implementation of this database system by the dvla, particularly as its predecessor was known not to be millennium-compliant. The agency took a high-risk but necessary decision to implement the final phases in October 1999, before system testing was fully completed. In doing so, they avoided the breakdown of a key customer service to both enforcement agencies and the public.”

The report also comments positively on other aspects of the DVLA’s operations.

Published:
1 Feb 2001
Train in platform

Confirmed impacts: Developing the capability needed to deliver the rail strategy

This impacts case study shows how our reports pointing to the need for Department for Transport staff to improve their skills in managing complex procurements helped DfT to develop a Commercial Capability Strategy, increase leadership training and create a network for sharing advice.

It is one example of financial or non-financial benefits realised in 2014 as a result of our involvement, all of which are set out in our interactive PDF

Published:
14 Oct 2015
Railway

Confirmed impacts: Helping government to learn from past rail infrastructure programmes

This impacts case study shows how our identification of lessons from past rail infrastructure programmes regarding aspects such as planning, monitoring and financing, has helped the Department for Transport apply these lessons, including in the HS2 programme.

It is one example of financial or non-financial benefits realised in 2014 as a result of our involvement, all of which are set out in our interactive PDF.

Published:
14 Oct 2015
Report cover showing Portcullis House

Construction of Portcullis House, the new Parliamentary building

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, has published his report on the construction of Portcullis House, the new Parliamentary building. Portcullis House, which provides offices for 210 Members of Parliament and 400 staff together with committee rooms and other facilities, was completed in August 2000 at a cost of £234 million. The NAO … Read more

Published:
19 Apr 2002
Report cover showing a polluted beach

Dealing with pollution from ships

“The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has in recent years strengthened the UK’s ability to deal with marine pollution incidents. The Agency does, however, need to satisfy itself that ports, harbours and coastal local authorities remain capable of protecting the environment from marine pollution, and ensure that it has the ability to recover its costs, prosecute offenders and deter others from polluting.”

Published:
12 Jun 2002
Report cover showing the number nine bus to Hammersmith

Delivery Chain Analysis for Bus Services in England (Prepared Jointly by the National Audit Office and the Audit Commission)

“The government’s target to reverse the long-term decline in bus use and achieve growth both nationally and in all regions is challenging. London is leading the way. If growth in all the regions is to be achieved, strong leadership from the Department of Transport will be essential, to build on its policies and encourage local transport authorities and operators to bring about the concerted action needed”.

Audit Commission Chairman, James Strachan said:

“Buses are an important lifeline for many people and help reduce congestion in towns and cities. This has been recognised by targets to increase bus use. Our report analysed whether the best means have been adopted to achieve these targets. Success depends on many organisations working efficiently together. However what stands out is that where there is strong local leadership to increase the use of buses, as in London, the difference is real and the public notices it.”

Additional key findings:

Additional key recommendations:

As owner of the national target, the Department of Transport should:

At the same time, local transport authorities should:

General Information

NAO press enquiries: Barry Lester, Tel: 020 7798 7937
Mobile: 07748 181692

Audit Commission press enquiries: Amelia Dixon, Tel: 020 7166 2205
Mobile: 07716 098231

Published:
9 Dec 2005
Report cover showing English countryside

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Countryside Agency – The right of access to open countryside

The crucial test for the right to roam is whether walkers can use it, and on this score it has been a success. Walkers are no longer restricted to existing footpaths across large areas of the countryside, with thousands of hectares now open to the public, in many cases for the first time. But although the scheme’s implementation has gone well, the Countryside Agency should have put effective risk and project management procedures in place earlier.

Published:
9 Jun 2006