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Report cover showing a doctor talking to an elderly patient

The Medical Assessment of Incapacity and Disability Benefits

“This has been an innovative project for the Department of Social Security, involving the outsourcing of a service which is close to the department’s core business. The Benefits Agency medical service was underachieving and operated within tight resource constraints. Outsourcing has cut costs and speeded up the processing of the work, but the Department, with SEMA Group, must concentrate on improving the quality of assessments and customer service.

“Bottlenecks and delays throughout the system for paying these benefits also need to be addressed. The aim should be to ensure that disability benefits are speedily paid to those entitled to them, as well as reducing losses to the public purse from payments to those who are no longer eligible for benefit.”

Published:
9 Mar 2001
National Audit Office logo

Government Property Lawyers Accounts 1997-1998

The Comptroller and Auditor General, Sir John Bourn, today reported to Parliament that he has qualified his opinion on the financial statements of the Government Property Lawyers Agency for the year ended 31 March 1998 due to a fraud which resulted in a £542,000 loss to public funds.

Published:
24 Jul 2000
Report cover showing man leaving prison

Parole

“Parole is an important point in the process of rehabilitating offenders. It therefore needs to be integrated into the programme of action – including training and education – agreed with the prisoner to prepare them for their eventual release. The report’s recommendations should build on recent improvements in the administration of parole and result in more equitable treatment of prisoners as well as savings for the taxpayer.”

Published:
11 May 2000
Report cover showing montage of emergency services and an unconscious man

Compensating Victims of Violent Crime

“The Government’s compensation scheme is a practical way for society to express its regret and provide victims with some material recompense for their injuries. The staff at the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority are helpful and considerate. Their challenge for the future is to exploit new technology to speed up applications, improve communications and provide a more timely and personal service for victims.”

Published:
14 Apr 2000
Report cover

Appropriation Accounts 1998-99 Volume 8: Class VIII – Lord Chancellor’s Department and Serious Fraud Office

“The Lord Chancellor’s Department has clearly made significant progress towards improving the checking of criminal legal aid applications though more remains to be done.I am disappointed, however, to have to report that financial control weaknesses in the Lord Chancellor’s Department and the incorrect accounting treatment by the Serious Fraud Office meant that both departments have exceeded the funds granted by Parliament and had to ask for further parliamentary authority to approve their expenditure.”

Published:
23 Feb 2000
Report cover showing the Old Bailey

Lord Chancellor’s Department, Crown Prosecution Service, Home Office: Criminal Justice: Working Together

“Everyone involved in criminal justice agrees that the system cannot function effectively unless all the parties involved work closely together. For this to happen there must be the right structures in place to facilitate co-operation and the right information to enable the system to be managed. Millions of pounds could be saved by reducing the number of ineffective hearings and implementing our recommendations will go a long way to achieving this.”

Published:
1 Dec 1999