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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

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
Cover of failure of Metronet report showing tube train

The Department for Transport: The failure of Metronet

“The Metronet PPP contracts to upgrade the Tube left the DfT without effective means of protecting the taxpayer. Metronet’s failure led to a direct loss to the taxpayer of between £170 million and £410 million. The DfT’s work with the Mayor of London, TfL and London Underground on a long term solution will need to improve governance and risk management in the new arrangements they are intending to put in place to protect the taxpayer.”

Published:
5 Jun 2009
Report cover showing building work

National Offender Management Service: Maintenance of the prison estate in England and Wales

“NOMS is maintaining the prison estate well and is obtaining value for money in how it does so. But there are areas to improve: the Agency needs a better understanding of the costs of planned works; it should standardise more spare parts and materials; and understand better the right time to switch from maintaining an old asset to buying new. Once these measures are in place it will help the Agency plan maintenance work, and control finances, more effectively.”

Published:
21 May 2009
London street with bus, pedestrians and a cyclist

Department for Transport: Improving road safety for pedestrians and cyclists in Great Britain

“Making roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists is a key element in encouraging people to walk and cycle more. While their safety has improved generally, some are more vulnerable, such as child pedestrians from deprived areas. The Department for Transport needs to draw on its research programme and the lessons learned from the projects that it funds to find ways of improving safety, especially for groups most at risk.”

Published:
8 May 2009
Report cover, showing modern school interior

The Building Schools for the Future Programme: Renewing the secondary school estate

“Building Schools for the Future is a highly ambitious £55 billion programme. Converting that ambition to reality requires robust planning, close cost control and making a success of complex long-term partnerships. Partnerships for Schools and the Department were too optimistic in their early plans though programme management has since improved. But it remains a real challenge, in difficult market conditions, to deliver the 250 schools a year that will be needed, to include all schools by 2020 as currently planned.”

Published:
12 Feb 2009
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency's Response to growth in the UK Merchant Fleet

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s Response to growth in the UK Merchant Fleet

“The Maritime and Coastguard Agency coped with the recent sharp increase in the size of the UK-flagged merchant fleet by using its staff more efficiently and by delegating more of its survey work. But with fewer surveyors, the Agency is now struggling to inspect the increased fleet, which could put at risk the quality advantage of the UK flag. Better recruitment and succession planning will be needed, along with more strategic delegation to the classification societies.”

Published:
11 Feb 2009
Report cover showing Royal palace with scaffolding

Maintaining the Occupied Royal Palaces

“For a number of years, the grant given to run and maintain the Royal Palaces has been static – and has fallen significantly in real terms. The Royal Household is making efforts to be more efficient in how it uses its funds, but there is no measure of how effectively the Palaces are being maintained. The Royal Household and Department for Culture, Media and Sport need to develop a way of measuring the condition of the estate over time, so that the Department has confidence that the future of these national assets is secure.”

Published:
10 Dec 2008