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Report cover showing an aerial view of Norwich market

The Office of Fair Trading: Enforcing competition in markets

“Governments around the world have come to rely on competitive markets to deliver economic benefits, as this can be far more effective than regulation. However, anti-competitive practices are detrimental to consumers as they lead to increased prices, reduced choice and quality. The OFT is well respected and should be able to translate its intellectual leadership internationally on these issues into greater practical results. At present, many of the OFT’s investigations take a long time. The recent changes in leadership at the OFT present it with an opportunity to meet these challenges head on and to enhance the OFT’s reputation as an effective competition enforcement body.”

Published:
17 Nov 2005
Report cover showing a shark

The Office of Fair Trading: Progress in Protecting Consumers’ Interests

“There are areas, particularly in the management of consumer credit licensing, where the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has been constrained in what it can achieve. The OFT should take full advantage of the opportunities presented by recent consumer protection legislation and the outcome of the Government’s review of consumer credit to improve its performance still further. In this way the OFT can build on the implementation of past recommendations made by myself and the Committee of Public Accounts in its important work of protecting the interests of consumers.”

Published:
6 Mar 2003
Report showing a phone user

The Office of Telecommunications: Helping consumers benefit from competition in the telecommunications market

“It is hard for consumers to understand how to get a good deal for fixed-line telephones, and therefore many do not try. Oftel has been working to help raise awareness, but it needs to have a better understanding of why consumers behave the way they do and should also make it easier for them to compare the tariffs on offer, for example by building on its tariff comparison accreditation scheme.”

Published:
11 Jul 2003
Report cover showing Teesside's waterways

The Operation and wind up of Teesside Development Corporation

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, has published his report on the operation and wind up of Teesside Development Corporation. The Comptroller and Auditor General’s report is in response to concerns raised with him by three Members of Parliament for the North East of England and a former contractor of the Corporation. … Read more

Published:
27 Feb 2002
Report cover image showing prison interiors

The Operational Performance of PFI Prisons

“The experience of the prison sector shows that the use of the PFI is neither a guarantee of success nor the cause of inevitable failure. Like other methods of providing public services, there are successes and failures and they cannot be ascribed to a single factor. PFI has brought some results which are encouraging and some which are disappointing. But what is clear is that competition has helped to drive up standards and improve efficiency across the prison system as a whole.”

Published:
18 Jun 2003
Report cover showing pensioners on bicycles

The Pensions Regulator: Progress in establishing its new regulatory approach

“My report in 2002 into Opra detailed a number of failings, so to be able to report good progress by its successor in establishing new regulatory arrangements is very welcome.

“The Pensions Regulator has successfully put in place a framework to identify and address the key issues and risks to private sector final salary pension scheme members. Central to that has been the strategy of addressing the areas of greatest risk. The next step for the Regulator is to continue its push to roll out the same level of regulatory oversight to money purchase schemes as it has for final salary schemes.”

Published:
26 Oct 2007