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Report cover showing pylons

The New Electricity Trading Arrangements in England and Wales

“Ofgem, together with the electricity industry, has achieved much through the NETA programme of reforms. But my report shows that there are a series of questions that the regulator will need to continue to keep under close scrutiny. How much of the savings in the wholesale market will be passed on to retail customers? How sure can we be that the lights will stay on? And can Ofgem monitor the market so as to prevent market abuse distorting prices?”

Published:
9 May 2003
Report cover image showing an oak tree

PPP in practice: National Savings and Investments’ deal with Siemens Business Services, four years on

“This report shows that there are alternatives to bailing out the private sector. NS&I and Siemens Business Services have learnt valuable lessons in the operation of this project, which are pertinent to other public-private sector partnerships. A whole business approach, where decisions are based on what is best for the business rather than what is best for either the public and private sectors, needs to be adopted if the public and private sectors are to achieve their objectives, and the private sector needs to recognize the management challenge that PFI represents.”

Published:
8 May 2003
Report cover showing Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Progress on 15 Major Capital Projects Funded by Arts Council England

“It is pleasing that most of the 15 projects are now delivering the intended benefits to the public. But it is disappointing that two have had to close and that on most the construction work did not go to plan, with delays and cost overruns which resulted in 10 projects needing additional lottery funding. It is important that, in taking forward its new capital programme, the Arts Council monitors the effectiveness of the measures it has introduced to reduce the likelihood of similar problems in the future. Where things do go wrong the Arts Council should be prepared to stop funding and at all times it must ensure that lottery funds are protected so that it is in a position to recover its money in the event of projects failing.”

Published:
2 May 2003
Report cover image showing illustration of a compact disc being pushed towards a keyhole

Purchasing and Managing Software Licences

“Whatever a department does, whether it is processing benefit payments or protecting the public from crime, it uses computer software. Delivering good quality public services now depends on having the right IT. This report shows that many departments are being intelligent customers when it comes to software licensing. But it remains important that they have all the information that they need to make the right decisions.”

Published:
1 May 2003
Report cover image showing leaflets promoting health and safety and an incident report form

A Safer Place to Work: Improving the management of health and safety risks to staff in NHS trusts

More needs to be done to reduce the number of staff accidents in NHS trusts. Good progress has been made through the initiatives such as the Back in Work campaign but too many trusts are still not implementing good practice and there are wide variations in terms of access to counselling and other support to get staff back to work more quickly. At a time when it is crucial to recruit and retain staff, the NHS must show that the health and safety of its staff is a top priority.”

Published:
30 Apr 2003
Report cover image showing actors Laurence Olivier and Elisabeth Bergner in the 1936 film version of As You Like It

Improving access to, and information about, the moving image through the British Film Institute

“I am pleased that the number of people engaging with film and moving image culture through the bfi’s activities has increased. The Film Council and the bfi now need to make sure they are heading in the same direction and do more to reach a wider range of people by gaining a better appreciation of what people actually want from the bfi. The development of a clear strategy for the National Film and Television Archive is a high priority, particularly to manage the risk that irreplaceable film might decay before today’s public and future generations have an opportunity to see it.”

Published:
11 Apr 2003
Report cover showing syringes

Procurement of Vaccines by the Department of Health

“On the basis of investigation into the first procurement of smallpox vaccine by the Department of Health, we found no link between the personal donations to the Labour Party by the Chief Executive of PowderJect and the award to his company of the contract to supply the vaccine.

“However, even where national security dictates that the Department of Health cannot follow normal procurement procedures, the Department must still be as transparent as possible. There must be robust protocols for the special procurement procedures which are to be followed so that the Department can demonstrate that it has acted properly and fairly.

“Regarding shortages in the supply of vaccines, the public health consequences may be very serious indeed. The Department faces a challenge in ensuring vaccine supplies where the number of suppliers is diminishing and some suppliers enjoy a near monopoly, resulting sometimes in increased prices. The Department should define its long-term strategy for ensuring adequate vaccine supplies as a complement to its short-term handling arrangements to deal with vaccine shortages.”

Published:
9 Apr 2003