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The creation of Ofcom: wider lessons for public sector mergers of regulatory agencies

“Creating new organisations from mergers is fraught with difficulty and costs. The early evidence is that Ofcom’s creation has been successful.

“However, success in carrying out mergers is certainly not guaranteed. Given the large number of proposed mergers in the public sector, it is important that Government develops its expertise in managing mergers and its understanding of their costs and benefits.”

Published:
5 Jul 2006
Two students talking

The Customer First Programme: Delivery of student finance

“The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Student Loans Company underestimated, and therefore did not do enough to mitigate, the significant risks in integrating the student finance service previously carried out by 130 separate local authorities. Both bodies failed to grasp the magnitude of problems that were developing in 2009 as applications for loans, grants and allowances piled up and applicants struggled to contact the Company by telephone. In particular, students with disabilities were supported badly.

 

“The question must be asked how the Company, given its failure in 2009, will deal with twice as many applications in 2010, when it becomes responsible for applications from both first and second year students. The Department and the Company must give the highest priority to achieving a radical improvement in the service and, in so doing, to restoring the confidence of applicants and stakeholders. They will have to manage substantial risks.”

Published:
19 Mar 2010
HM Revenue & Customs sign

The Customs Declaration Service

HMRC has made progress in developing the new customs system, which was part of its existing programme, but it may need to be ready much earlier than originally planned if there is no agreement extending timescales on the transition to any new customs arrangements

Published:
13 Jul 2017
House and garden

The Decent Homes Programme

“The Programme to make social sector housing and private sector housing for vulnerable people decent has made progress, and the families living in those properties will be enjoying the benefits. However, there are risks to both the Programme’s completion and what has been achieved so far if a reliable funding mechanism is not put in place to deliver the remainder of the Programme and to maintain homes to a decent standard. Hundreds of thousands of families are still living in properties which are not warm, weather tight, or in a reasonable state of repair. The Department’s efforts have been undermined by weaknesses in the information it holds.

 

There are important lessons here on the benefits of having clear information on Programmes when delivery is devolved to a local level.”

Published:
21 Jan 2010