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Cover of report showing entrace to tube station

London Underground: Are the Public Private Partnerships likely to work successfully?

“These are complicated deals, worth a great amount of money and spanning a long period into the future. I welcome the fact that there are prospects for improvement to the Tube. But in the face of the inevitable uncertainty about what the next 30 years will bring, only time will tell whether these prospects are fully realised and, therefore, whether the eventual price that the taxpayer pays is worth it.”

Published:
17 Jun 2004
Report cover showing railway marshalling yard

Network Rail – Making a Fresh Start

“The improvements to planning and cost control are to be welcomed. The outlook is certainly better than it was in 2001. But there are still serious challenges in Network Rail’s own structure and in the rail industry in general which the Government must overcome if we are to see a reliable and affordable rail network in the future.”

Published:
14 May 2004
Report cover showing images of buildings

PFI: The STEPS Deal

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office today reported to Parliament on the £1.5 billion Strategic Transfer of the Estate to the Private Sector (STEPS) PFI deal entered into by Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise with a private sector consortium known as Mapeley STEPS. The deal incorporates the transfer of the ownership … Read more

Published:
7 May 2004
Cover of improving public transport through light rail report

Improving public transport in England through light rail

Modern light rail systems, such as Croydon Tramlink and Manchester Metrolink, have brought significant benefits to passengers, according to a report Parliament by the head of the National Audit Office, Sir John Bourn. They deliver fast, frequent and reliable services and provide a comfortable and safe journey. Their modern look and attractive services have enhanced … Read more

Published:
23 Apr 2004
Report cover showing images from Cambridge and MIT

Cambridge-MIT Institute

“CMI has the potential to generate considerable impacts. Many of these will be long-term and are intrinsically difficult to measure. After a challenging start, I am pleased that CMI and the Department of Trade and Industry have been taking steps designed to maximise long-term success. Public sector organisations are increasingly expected to manage innovation, and we look to them to learn from the experience of CMI to improve their appraisal and management of innovative projects.”

Published:
17 Mar 2004
Passenger plane

Refinancing the Public Private Partnership for National Air Traffic Services

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, reported today that the refinancing of the public private partnership for NATS, completed late last year, has put the Company on a much more robust financial footing, enabling it to make further vital investment to expand the capacity of Air Traffic Control to meet future growth … Read more

Published:
7 Jan 2004
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
Report cover image showing plans for the HQ

PFI: The New Headquarters for the Home Office

“Through this PFI deal, the Home Office should gain a good quality working environment at a good price, that will support the way it wants to work in the future. However, risks to the Accommodation Strategy remain and must be managed well. In particular, I urge the Home Office to decide how excess staff will be accommodated soon in order to determine the budgetary implications and manage staff expectations.”

Published:
15 Jul 2003
Report cover image showing prison interiors

The Operational Performance of PFI Prisons

“The experience of the prison sector shows that the use of the PFI is neither a guarantee of success nor the cause of inevitable failure. Like other methods of providing public services, there are successes and failures and they cannot be ascribed to a single factor. PFI has brought some results which are encouraging and some which are disappointing. But what is clear is that competition has helped to drive up standards and improve efficiency across the prison system as a whole.”

Published:
18 Jun 2003
Report cover image showing an oak tree

PPP in practice: National Savings and Investments’ deal with Siemens Business Services, four years on

“This report shows that there are alternatives to bailing out the private sector. NS&I and Siemens Business Services have learnt valuable lessons in the operation of this project, which are pertinent to other public-private sector partnerships. A whole business approach, where decisions are based on what is best for the business rather than what is best for either the public and private sectors, needs to be adopted if the public and private sectors are to achieve their objectives, and the private sector needs to recognize the management challenge that PFI represents.”

Published:
8 May 2003