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Report cover showing a doctor talking to an elderly patient

The Medical Assessment of Incapacity and Disability Benefits

“This has been an innovative project for the Department of Social Security, involving the outsourcing of a service which is close to the department’s core business. The Benefits Agency medical service was underachieving and operated within tight resource constraints. Outsourcing has cut costs and speeded up the processing of the work, but the Department, with SEMA Group, must concentrate on improving the quality of assessments and customer service.

“Bottlenecks and delays throughout the system for paying these benefits also need to be addressed. The aim should be to ensure that disability benefits are speedily paid to those entitled to them, as well as reducing losses to the public purse from payments to those who are no longer eligible for benefit.”

Published:
9 Mar 2001
Report cover showing the Millennium Dome

The Millennium Dome

“Building and opening the Millennium Dome on the very short timescale required was a tremendous achievement. But the New Millennium Experience Company has experienced severe financial difficulties this year and has required considerable additional lottery funding.

“The main cause of these difficulties is the failure to achieve the visitor numbers and income required. The targets were highly ambitious and inherently risky leading to a significant degree of financial exposure on the project. In addition, the task of managing the project has been complicated by the complex organisational arrangements put in place from the outset, and by the failure to establish sufficiently robust financial management.”

Published:
9 Nov 2000
MOD housing

The Ministry of Defence’s arrangement with Annington Property Limited

The Ministry of Defence (the Department) has committed itself to annual rental bills of nearly £200 million and lost out on billions of pounds of asset value as a result of selling and leasing back the majority of its married quarters estate to Annington Property Limited in 1996 because of the subsequent steep increase in house prices and rents.

Published:
30 Jan 2018
Report cover showing a train

The Modernisation of the West Coast Main Line

“When the Strategic Rail Authority stepped in, the project to modernise the West Coast Main Line was in disarray, vastly over-budget and with few of the planned improvements in place. It was only through good direction by the Strategic Rail Authority and then the Department for Transport and through the exercise of firm management by Network Rail that the project was brought back on track so that benefits of faster journeys are now being delivered to passengers.

“The weaknesses in the management of the project before 2002 should provide ample warning of the dangers of entering into a scheme on this scale without clear leadership, plans and project management expertise; without fully engaging stakeholders; and using untried technologies.

“Future major projects should draw upon these lessons learned, give careful consideration up front to the potential effects of programme slippage and include plans to minimise these risks.”

Published:
22 Nov 2006
Rooftops

The mortgage rescue scheme

The Mortgage Rescue Scheme, launched in January 2009 by the Department for Communities and Local Government, achieved fewer than half of the rescues expected. The Department helped 2,600 households avoid repossession and homelessness at a cost of in excess of £240 million – but it originally expected to help 6,000 households for £205 million.

Published:
25 May 2011