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Report cover showing GCHQ

Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ): New Accommodation Programme

“When a Government Department is considering major investment in new accommodation, the full scope of the requirement really must be properly defined from the outset. In this case GCHQ failed to consider all the implications of the fact that it was relocating its entire business capability to a new building and that transition of its computer systems to the new premises was a major factor.

“However, other Government Departments might learn lessons from the way that GCHQ developed its programme management arrangements for this major hybrid change programme. Departments should follow best practice and should especially focus on introducing programme management procedures to identify, plan and then deliver all the benefits attainable from their PFI programmes.”

Published:
16 Jul 2003
Cover of report showing construction site

Health and Safety Executive: Improving health and safety in the construction industry

“Construction workers have some of the most dangerous jobs in the UK economy. I welcome the recent reduction in the incidence rate of deaths and major injuries. But further and sustained improvements in the health and safety performance of the industry are required. The Health and Safety Executive must be better able to assess and measure the impact of its own strategies for ensuring that the industry takes ownership of its risks and manages them in order to reduce avoidable injuries to people and burdensome costs to the economy.”

Published:
12 May 2004

Highways Agency: Contracting for Highways Maintenance

“The latest form of Highways Agency contracts for maintaining motorways and trunk roads provide visibility of costs and the ability to allocate risk appropriately. But, as is so often the case, a lack of probing analysis of the information which is available, and continuing gaps in some areas undermine the drive to maximize value for money. The Agency has not yet established and benchmarked the unit costs of planned maintenance tasks, such as resurfacing; and it does not have enough of the information on or analysis of the continuing condition of assets necessary to drive down whole life costs of planned maintenance projects. The Highways Agency also now needs to strengthen the engineering and commercial management skills of its area teams.”

 

Published:
16 Oct 2009
Report cover showing road maintenance

Highways Agency: Maintaining England’s Motorways and Trunk Roads

“The Highways Agency has done much to improve the condition of England’s motorways and trunk roads over recent years, and its management of continuing maintenance work, particularly in reducing the impact on road users. However, the Agency could do more to prioritise its resources to projects delivering the best outcome in terms of safety and value for money, and to manage costs effectively over a project’s lifetime.

“The disruption to key parts of the road network caused by the adverse weather conditions at the end of January 2003 shows just how important effective maintenance procedures are. The Agency is investigating the causes of the difficulties faced by many drivers at that time, and plans to review its winter maintenance procedures to prevent a recurrence.”

Published:
5 Mar 2003
staircase symbolising HMRC estate

HM Revenue & Customs’ estate private finance deal eight years on

“This major contract has been significantly affected, for the contractor Mapeley in particular, by the current economic climate. Mapeley benefited when the property market was expanding but the economic downturn has made the contract more onerous. HMRC must take a significantly more astute commercial approach if it is to deliver value for money for the taxpayer.”

Published:
3 Dec 2009
Train

Improving passenger rail services through new trains

“While some passengers are enjoying the improved facilities and ride provided by new trains, many others are still waiting for their new trains to enter service. And too often the trains turn out to be unreliable in everyday use because they haven’t been sufficiently tested. The Strategic Rail Authority needs to redouble its efforts to help get new trains into service on time and running reliably for the benefit of passengers and the taxpayer.”

Published:
4 Feb 2004