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Department of Social Security Resource Accounts 2000-2001

“Despite the success that the Department has had in exceeding the targets they have been set to reduce the estimated overpayment of Income Support and Jobseeker’s Allowance, large amounts of these benefits are still being lost through fraud and error.

“Income Support is the benefit of last resort for those most in need in society. This makes it essential for the Department to make accurate and prompt payments while also protecting the public purse. I welcome the strategies being adopted by the Department to strengthen its defences against loss of this benefit and address variations in performance in local offices.”

Published:
31 Jan 2002
Report cover showing mother and child with NHS Direct worker

NHS Direct in England

“It was a significant achievement getting NHS Direct up and running in less than three years. The service is valued by those who use it and, according to the evidence available, is starting to meet its aim of directing people to more appropriate forms of healthcare.

“The challenge now for NHS Direct is to meet the expected rapid increase in callers and to set a clear future direction for the service. NHS Direct should also address the fact that some social groups are tending not to use the service, and increase the proportion of callers who are promptly connected to a nurse.”

Published:
25 Jan 2002
Report cover showing postal worker on a vehicle

Opening the Post: Postcomm and postal services – the risks and opportunities

“My report concludes that Postcomm have taken some important steps to introduce competition and further the interests of users of postal services. But for their strategy to be successful, and to ensure that postal services improve rather than decline they need to address the risks I have identified. Postcomm’s proposals should be scrutinised with a view to ensuring that Postcomm are managing these risks successfully so that customers will indeed see improved services.”

Published:
24 Jan 2002
Report cover showing graduates throwing hats

Improving student achievement in English higher education

Student achievement rates in English higher education institutions have remained high during a period of considerable expansion of student numbers, although rates vary widely between institutions. The higher education sector will have to recruit and retain more students from hitherto poorly represented social groups and help them to succeed if the government’s learning targets are … Read more

Published:
18 Jan 2002
Report cover showing illustration of people walking through a stack of books

Widening participation in higher education in England

Student achievement rates in English higher education institutions have remained high during a period of considerable expansion of student numbers, although rates vary widely between institutions. The higher education sector will have to recruit and retain more students from hitherto poorly represented social groups and help them to succeed if the government’s learning targets are … Read more

Published:
18 Jan 2002
Report cover showing a waiting room with patients

Inappropriate adjustments to NHS waiting Lists

The National Audit Office has published the results of its examination into the inappropriate adjustment of waiting lists at a number of NHS trusts. In July of this year the NAO published its report Inpatient and outpatient waiting in the NHS looking at the accuracy and management of NHS waiting lists. In that report it … Read more

Published:
19 Dec 2001
Report cover showing collage of public sector services

Joining Up to Improve Public Services

It is important that organisations work well together and that departments tackle the barriers to joint working so that long lasting improvements are made to the quality of services that the public receive, Sir John Bourn, the Head of the NAO, reported to Parliament today. The report evaluates the achievements of 5 initiatives and highlights … Read more

Published:
7 Dec 2001
Report cover showing gears

Managing the relationship to secure a successful partnership in PFI projects

“As PFI deals are long term arrangements it is essential that authorities and contractors work together as partners to achieve successful outcomes.

“The main elements of a successful relationship between the public and private sectors are to adopt a partnership approach supported by the right contractual framework, to have the right skills mix present at the right time, and to make the partnership work in practice.

“My report will help both authorities and contractors to achieve good relationships on PFI projects to assist the delivery of public services procured under the PFI.”

Published:
29 Nov 2001
Report cover showing a Type 45 Destroyer

Ministry of Defence: Major Projects Report 2001

“I am concerned, however, that comprehensive indicators are not yet in place to measure the success of the assessment phase in reducing project risk, which is key to future successful acquisition. Nor are there measures to fully assess whether all of the benefits of Smart Acquisition are being achieved. MoD should give priority to establishing such indicators.”

Published:
23 Nov 2001