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Report cover showing a modern train crossing Brunel's 1859 bridge

The Department for Transport – Letting Rail Franchises 2005-2007

“Taxpayers and passengers should benefit from changes made to the franchising process for passenger rail services. The Department for Transport has contracted to save the taxpayer money while improving service quality, but it will need to see that capacity increases are well-managed and timely if passengers are to expect less crowded and more reliable journeys.”

Published:
15 Oct 2008
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 image showing Dr taking administering to a patient

The Management of Staff Sickness Absence in Department of Transport and its agencies

“Today’s report paints a mixed picture of sickness absence in the Department for Transport and its agencies. While some parts of the Department compare favourably against other public and private sector organisations and all parts of the Department appear to be proactive in managing sickness absence, the high rates in the customer-facing agencies of DVLA and DSA are worrying.

“The central department appears to have a good record of sickness absence but that does not absolve it from the responsibility to hold those agencies with high levels of sickness absence to account.”

The report makes recommendations on how the Department should better manage sickness absence. These include making line managers more aware of responsibilities when it comes to sick leave, making earlier use of occupational health services and ensuring better quality standards for recording sickness absence. Specific recommendations to agencies include the DVLA bringing long term sickness absence to a swifter resolution.

Published:
8 Jun 2007
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 a train

The Modernisation of the West Coast Main Line

“When the Strategic Rail Authority stepped in, the project to modernise the West Coast Main Line was in disarray, vastly over-budget and with few of the planned improvements in place. It was only through good direction by the Strategic Rail Authority and then the Department for Transport and through the exercise of firm management by Network Rail that the project was brought back on track so that benefits of faster journeys are now being delivered to passengers.

“The weaknesses in the management of the project before 2002 should provide ample warning of the dangers of entering into a scheme on this scale without clear leadership, plans and project management expertise; without fully engaging stakeholders; and using untried technologies.

“Future major projects should draw upon these lessons learned, give careful consideration up front to the potential effects of programme slippage and include plans to minimise these risks.”

Published:
22 Nov 2006
Report cover showing a motorway

The Procurement of the National Roads Telecommunications Services

“The Highways Agency’s procurement identified the risks to the National Roads Telecommunications Services project and successfully transferred them to the private sector, conducting negotiations with the preferred bidder well. It did however take a lot longer than planned and only two bidders remained through to the end of the competition. There are good practice lessons both for the Agency and for other major public procurements”

Published:
4 Apr 2008