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Modernising Construction

“With Government plans to increase infrastructure spending to £19 billion over the next three years, the need for widespread implementation of good practice now has a greater degree of urgency.

“This report highlights the urgent need for change in the procurement and management of new construction, refurbishment and repair and maintenance. The problems of the construction industry have been well described in the many reports on the industry, the solutions to many of these problems have been identified – there is now no excuse for not getting it right.

“I hope that my report will provide encouragement to those in the construction industry and their clients who are already changing and motivation to those who are finding the challenge more difficult.”

The Office of Government Commerce, the Treasury and the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions welcomed the NAO report for providing very real encouragement to those who were already working to change their construction practices.

Published:
11 Jan 2001

Office of Gas and Electricity Markets: Giving Domestic Customers a Choice of Electricity Supplier

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, told Parliament today that since electricity supply competition began in September 1998 more than 6.5 million customers – one in four – have saved money by changing supplier. Domestic electricity customers as a whole have seen their electricity bills fall by some £750 million a year since … Read more

Published:
5 Jan 2001

The National Blood Service

“The availability of blood is essential to the NHS and many people owe their lives to transfusions that were made possible by voluntary donations of blood. The National Blood Service has had to change the blood service from a regional to a national one, cope with the emergence of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and, at the same time, maintain supplies to hospitals of sufficient safe blood.

This process of change has been accompanied by some controversy and appeared to lose momentum at one stage. But the indications are that the Service has made good progress towards providing an effective national service.”

Published:
20 Dec 2000

Ordnance Survey Accounts 1999-2000

“The National Topographic Database is a unique national asset, the creation of which has been funded from public money over the years.

“Because I disagree with the view taken by the Ordnance Survey on the appropriate accounting treatment for this database, I have qualified my opinion on the Agency’s first set of accounts as a Trading Fund. The failure by the Ordnance Survey to recognise the database as a tangible fixed asset means that the Agency’s accounts do not provide Parliament with a true and fair view of the publicly owned assets under the Agency’s stewardship.

“Finally, and speaking more broadly, at a time when Ministers have decided, and Parliament has endorsed, that all central government departments and agencies should move to a new regime of resource accounts, wherein more attention is to be paid to the valuation of assets than had ever been the practice under the old style cash accounts, it is surprising to find an important body like Ordnance Survey seeking to turn its back on the thrust of the new approach.”

Published:
20 Dec 2000

Inland Revenue: Petroleum Revenue Tax

“My report provides a large measure of assurance about the Inland Revenue’s administration of petroleum revenue tax. I endorse the Department’s policy of continuing to develop its risk-based approach to the tax. Closer working with other government agencies and regular assessment of performance will help ensure that resources remain focused on areas of higher risk.”

Published:
14 Dec 2000

Ministry of Defence: Major Projects Report 2000

“I welcome the encouraging signs that the Ministry of Defence is improving cost control on major projects and in future Major Projects Report I will look to see that this improvement is sustained. It is also reassuring that the Ministry of Defence is expecting to meet the technical requirements for new equipment for the Armed Forces. However, that equipment is not always available on time is a concern and it is disappointing that the average project delay is getting longer. The Ministry of Defence must translate the improvements on cost that are coming through under Smart Acquisition to time as well and must reduce project delays.”

Published:
22 Nov 2000