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Report cover

Tackling Fraud against the Inland Revenue

“It is important that the Inland Revenue have a clear view of the risks and scale of external fraud and the resources and approaches they are going to use to tackle them, for even a small percentage loss to fraud could amount to billions of pounds.

“The use of offshore accounts and structures to commit tax fraud is a particular concern. While acknowledging the challenges faced by the Revenue in tackling fraud, and the many useful initiatives and techniques they are developing and implementing to tackle the problem, my report identifies good practices and opportunities for reducing fraud further.”

Published:
28 Feb 2003
Report cover showing older people using technology

Progress in Making e-services Accessible to All: Encouraging use by Older People

“Older people are major users of public services but, as a section of society, are far less likely to access those services electronically. However, these e-services are potentially a great boon to older people many of whom have mobility problems, have difficulty in gaining access to sources of information, live alone or want to remain independent and involved.

“If government is to take full advantage of the potential of technology, it must make sure its e-services are accessible to all and work to avoid a ‘digital divide’. More older people would be willing to use new technologies if they saw the benefit to them of doing so. The Office of the e-Envoy, Departments and agencies have a key role to play in publicising the benefits of e-services and providing older people with the encouragement and facilities to use them.”

Published:
20 Feb 2003
Report cover showing a fraud officer

Department for Work and Pensions: Tackling Benefit Fraud

“The Department have a set of programmes that are designed to make fraud more difficult to commit, increase deterrence, increase the probability of frauds being detected and have increased the penalties for committing fraud. These programmes have produced some good results but more needs to be done to maintain progress. Amongst other actions the Department should continue to concentrate on areas of higher risk, address the decline in the fraud prevention and investigative activity, and evaluate the deterrent effect of the different sanctions available.”

Published:
13 Feb 2003
Report cover showing an older patient

Ensuring the effective discharge of older patients from NHS acute hospitals

“Many tens of thousands of older people each year find themselves unable to leave hospital, even though their treatment has been completed. This significantly reduces their quality of life and undermines the ability of hospitals to treat more patients and meet testing targets.

“The Department of Health has made strides in the last 18 months to address this problem but the pressures on the health and social care systems are unrelenting. This is a classic case of the need for ‘joined-up government’ with the NHS, local authorities and private and voluntary sector care providers working together. The Department should ensure that it is doing everything it can to allow this to happen.”

Published:
12 Feb 2003
Cover of report

Department for Work and Pensions Resource Account 2001-02

“It is of the highest importance that money which Parliament has made available for welfare benefits is paid accurately only to those people who have proper entitlement and are in real need. Although the Department has taken significant steps to reduce the level of estimated fraud and error in recent years, the scale of losses remains substantial at £3 billion each year. The Department face a considerable challenge in reducing these losses further to an acceptable level.”

Published:
7 Feb 2003
Report cover image showing close-up of scaffolding poles with inset images of construction projects

PFI: Construction Performance

“The theory is that PFI should incentivise the private sector to deliver good quality buildings on time and to the price agreed with the public sector. The results of our census show that this is being achieved in central government.”

Published:
5 Feb 2003
Report cover showing a child drinking water

Department for International Development: Maximising Impact in the Water Sector

“The achievement of the targets to improve access to water and sanitation remains a huge task. It is clearly important that DFID makes an effective contribution to addressing global water needs. At the international, national and local levels, DFID can point to success in its work in the water sector and new initiatives to improve its performance. The aim of my report is to assist the Department in make sure that its assistance has a great and lasting impact.”

Published:
31 Jan 2003
Cover of report

Department for Education and Skills Resource Account 2001-02

Head of the National Audit Office Sir John Bourn today reported to Parliament that fraudulent and other irregular payments made under the Individual Learning Accounts (ILA) scheme had been estimated as likely to total some £97 million. As a result he has qualified his audit opinion on the Department for Education and Skill’s Resource Account … Read more

Published:
30 Jan 2003
Report cover showing magistrates

New IT Systems for Magistrates’ Courts: the Libra Project

“There are a number of lessons that other departments can learn from the problems that the Lord Chancellor’s Department has experienced with the Libra project. Departments should take it as a warning sign that their proposed PFI projects may not be workable if few bidders show initial interest and others withdraw as the procurement process continues. In a single tender situation, Departments need to take special care to safeguard value for money, for example by developing a should cost model to assess the reasonableness of a bid. Up to date contingency plans should be in place on all major contracts so that there is a fallback position if and when a contract goes wrong.”

Published:
29 Jan 2003