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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.”

22 Jan 2010

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.”

8 Jan 2010

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.”

16 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.”


16 Oct 2009

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.”

5 Jun 2009