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Spring 2021

Improving the performance of defence equipment contracts

Over many years the NAO has reported on delays and cost overruns across significant Ministry of Defence (MoD) equipment procurement programmes, such as boats 4-7 of the Astute attack submarine (£1 billion over budget) and the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers (£2.75 billion over budget). Our recent report Defence Capabilities: delivering what was promised, found that … Read more

chairs in Parliament

Briefing for the Science and Technology Committee: Advanced Research Projects Agency

The House of Commons’ Science and Technology Committee has launched an inquiry into the nature and purpose of the proposed new funding agency for UK research, the Advanced Research Projects Agency.

To support the inquiry, this briefing draws upon the National Audit Office’s work examining the use made of taxpayers’ money by public bodies. It sets out the basic principles established by HM Treasury governing the creation of new bodies and some of the questions that we regularly ask when assessing whether an organisation is set up to deliver value for money.

Published:
30 Nov 2020
Summer 2021

Government’s delivery through ALBs

Government uses a range of delivery models to carry out its policy objectives, including arm’s length bodies. Arm’s length bodies account for around £200 billion of public expenditure a year and employ approximately 300,000 staff. They perform a variety of different functions across government including; running key public services, regulating public services and providing advice … Read more