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A busy motorway

Procurement of the M25 private finance contract

The Highways Agency’s PFI contract to widen the M25 could have been better value for money. The slowness with which it was taken forward resulted in higher financing costs, and the Agency was slow to investigate a potentially cheaper alternative to widening.

Published:
19 Nov 2010
FCO buiilding

Adapting the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s global estate to the modern world

“The FCO can do more to get value for money from its overseas estate.  Although the Department has begun to remedy some of the shortcomings we identified and has started work on its strategy for managing the estate, it still needs to get the basics right.  It needs to lay out the priorities for its overseas estate and work out how to get more robust information.  Whilst there are examples of good practice at individual posts, the Department needs to spread this across the whole estate if it is to make real efficiencies.”

Published:
11 Feb 2010
power station

The sale of the Government’s interest in British Energy

“The Government sold its stake in British Energy when energy prices were at a peak, and got a good price. The biggest priority for the Government was, however, to ensure new nuclear power stations could be built from the earliest possible date and with no public subsidy. Whether it will achieve this remains to be seen. The Department of Energy and Climate Change now needs to make real progress on its contingency plans should EDF be unwilling to build new nuclear power stations.”

Published:
22 Jan 2010
Commercial vehicles report cover

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency: Enforcement of regulations on commercial vehicles

“It is reassuring that the number of commercial vehicles involved in road accidents is decreasing and that VOSA is removing more dangerous drivers and vehicles from the road, but my report raises a number of issues which will concern those who use Britain’s roads.

 

“VOSA needs to focus its resources on those activities and areas where it can have most impact: for example, by looking at where its staff and stopping sites are located around the country. It needs to help to educate commercial drivers and properly identify those vehicles which pose the greatest danger. It also needs to work with other organizations, at home and abroad, to ensure that drivers and vehicles from outside the UK are as safe as those from within the UK.”

Published:
8 Jan 2010
Two pound coin

Independent Reviews of reported CSR07 Value for Money savings

“It is worrying, when the money has already been removed from their budgets, that a significant proportion of the savings claimed by the Department for Transport and the Home Office have question marks hanging over them.  A failure to deliver these savings may mean cuts having to be made elsewhere.

 

“Both the Department for Transport and the Home Office have had some success in reducing costs so far, but more generally all departments must now take a more rigorous approach towards ensuring large-scale, genuine savings are made.”

Published:
16 Dec 2009
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