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Using modern methods of construction to build homes more quickly and efficiently

“Modern construction methods can produce important benefits for housing authorities and developers, not the least of which is the reduced emphasis on on-site activity. This is particularly important in a time of increasing demands on an already stretched labour force. As with any new way of doing things there are risks, but these can be mitigated through good project planning and management.”

Housing and Planning Minister Yvette Cooper said:

“We must ensure that we build the new homes that the next generation can afford. This report shows that it is possible to build faster and cheaper using modern methods of construction whilst keeping the same high quality as traditional methods. We said it should be possible to build a high quality house for less than £60,000. Now the NAO has shown that is right.”

Jon Rouse, Chief Executive of the Housing Corporation, said:

“For the last five years the Corporation has been at the vanguard of encouraging innovation and modern methods in order that greater numbers of much needed good quality homes may be delivered more efficiently. The results of this study clearly show that modern methods have a distinct and continuing role to play in the delivery of our £1.6 billion a year programme.”

Note

This report is supported by more detailed material available on an accompanying CD-ROM providing a firm basis for further improvements in using modern methods of construction. The background material includes a set of sample project plans, showing how plans need to be tailored to gain maximum benefit from modern methods of construction. Detailed cost figures are also available, outlining how we calculated costs and how cost breakdown differs across construction methods. Also included are scenario papers examining cost variations for other development types, and papers detailing the whole life cost and durability of a sample development.

Published:
22 Nov 2005

VAT on e-commerce

“I find it encouraging that HM Revenue and Customs is well positioned to manage the current risks to VAT from electronic commerce. With internet sales set to mushroom in the next few years, the Department faces a challenge to ensure it stays ahead of the game. Some businesses are inventive at side-stepping VAT, and the Department must be equally innovative in guaranteeing the Exchequer gets the revenue it is due.”

Published:
26 May 2006

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.”

Published:
8 Jan 2010

Vehicle Excise Duty Account 2005-06

“It remains a concern that the long-standing and significantly higher VED evasion rates amongst motorcyclists may threaten the public’s confidence in the DVLA’s even-handedness of treatment and enforcement of this tax.

“There is potentially a credibility issue if repeat non-payers of VED sense that nothing further will happen to them, and the DVLA is hopeful that the use of debt collection agencies will address this perception. I am pleased that the DVLA has also agreed to consider the NAO’s suggestion of a trial of further reminders targeted at longer term non-payers.

Published:
19 Jul 2006

Vehicle Excise Duty Accounts 2006-07

‘I was concerned last year that the significantly higher rates of VED evasion by motorcyclists might undermine confidence in the DVLA’s enforcement regime. My concern is even stronger this year, given the sharp jump in the evasion by motorcyclists, and by motorists more generally.’

‘It must be brought home to persistent non-payers of VED, whether motorcyclists or car drivers, that they will sooner or later be subject to enforcement action.’

Published:
19 Jul 2007

Venture capital support to small businesses

“These venture capital funds help small, often innovative, businesses that otherwise may have struggled. And there is evidence that some businesses have benefited from this support. But, in the absence of clear objectives and baselines from the start, coupled with poor financial performance to date of early funds, the Department’s programme cannot currently be said to demonstrate value for money. Finally, there is no information publicly available about the funds. BIS should be more transparent, without compromising confidentiality.”

Published:
10 Dec 2009

Visa Entry to the United Kingdom: The Entry Clearance Operation

“It is government policy to facilitate entry of those qualifying for visas as quickly and simply as possible while turning away unqualified applicants. Entry clearance staff have done much to achieve ease of entry. Adequacy of controls has been more difficult to achieve because there is no comprehensive feedback on whether visa entry conditions are obeyed by those receiving them; nevertheless improvements are possible even so and are recommended in this report.”

Published:
17 Jun 2004

VisitBritain: Bringing visitors to Britain

“The tourist industry is a significant income-earner and employer in Great Britain. VisitBritain deserves much credit for the support it provides through professional and well executed marketing activities which clearly generate high returns. However, VisitBritain now needs to focus even more on emerging markets where Great Britain can be energetically promoted as a most attractive tourist destination.”

Published:
12 Nov 2004