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HM Customs & Excise Appropriation Accounts 2000-2001

” I welcome and support the steps that Customs have taken to estimate the amount of revenue being lost through fraud, and to develop and implement counter-fraud strategies. Fraud is a major problem both for Government and for citizens, and I will be reporting on how a number of Departments are responding to the challenge. “

Published:
13 Feb 2002
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Delivering the Commercialisation of Public Sector Science

“I have said on many occasions that I support worthwhile and well thought through innovation and risk taking in the public sector. Successful commercial projects building on the excellence of our scientific research offer the prospect of valuable benefits for the country. A real commitment to success and a thorough approach to managing the risks involved in these projects is vita.”

Published:
8 Feb 2002
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Teachers’ Pension Scheme (England and Wales) Resource Account 2000-2001

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, today reported to Parliament on the 2000-2001 Teachers’ Pension Scheme (England and Wales) Resource Account. He has limited the scope of the audit opinion because the Managers of the Scheme were unable to provide him at the date of his opinion with sufficient evidence to support … Read more

Published:
8 Feb 2002
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Ministry of Defence: The Joint Services Command and Staff College

“The Ministry of Defence is to be congratulated on its success in establishing the new College. Its success demonstrates the benefits of departments showing clear direction and strong leadership when managing change. The College is at the forefront of good practice in its methods for evaluating training and benchmarking, with a strategy that will be of interest to other public sector training bodies.”

Published:
7 Feb 2002
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Department of Social Security Resource Accounts 2000-2001

“Despite the success that the Department has had in exceeding the targets they have been set to reduce the estimated overpayment of Income Support and Jobseeker’s Allowance, large amounts of these benefits are still being lost through fraud and error.

“Income Support is the benefit of last resort for those most in need in society. This makes it essential for the Department to make accurate and prompt payments while also protecting the public purse. I welcome the strategies being adopted by the Department to strengthen its defences against loss of this benefit and address variations in performance in local offices.”

Published:
31 Jan 2002
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Reducing Prisoner Reoffending

“By doing the right things with prisoners while they are in jail there are real opportunities to reduce reoffending. The Prison Service deserves credit for introducing new programmes so rapidly. They now need to reduce the variation in the provision of programmes between prisons and, working with the probation service and other agencies, help ensure that prisoners receive appropriate support on release.”

Published:
31 Jan 2002
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NHS Direct in England

“It was a significant achievement getting NHS Direct up and running in less than three years. The service is valued by those who use it and, according to the evidence available, is starting to meet its aim of directing people to more appropriate forms of healthcare.

“The challenge now for NHS Direct is to meet the expected rapid increase in callers and to set a clear future direction for the service. NHS Direct should also address the fact that some social groups are tending not to use the service, and increase the proportion of callers who are promptly connected to a nurse.”

Published:
25 Jan 2002
Report cover showing postal worker on a vehicle

Opening the Post: Postcomm and postal services – the risks and opportunities

“My report concludes that Postcomm have taken some important steps to introduce competition and further the interests of users of postal services. But for their strategy to be successful, and to ensure that postal services improve rather than decline they need to address the risks I have identified. Postcomm’s proposals should be scrutinised with a view to ensuring that Postcomm are managing these risks successfully so that customers will indeed see improved services.”

Published:
24 Jan 2002
Report cover showing illustration of people walking through a stack of books

Widening participation in higher education in England

Student achievement rates in English higher education institutions have remained high during a period of considerable expansion of student numbers, although rates vary widely between institutions. The higher education sector will have to recruit and retain more students from hitherto poorly represented social groups and help them to succeed if the government’s learning targets are … Read more

Published:
18 Jan 2002
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Improving student achievement in English higher education

Student achievement rates in English higher education institutions have remained high during a period of considerable expansion of student numbers, although rates vary widely between institutions. The higher education sector will have to recruit and retain more students from hitherto poorly represented social groups and help them to succeed if the government’s learning targets are … Read more

Published:
18 Jan 2002