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Summer 2018

Update on the Customs Declaration Service

The Customs Declaration Service programme aims to change business processes and replace the technology that the government currently uses to calculate and pay the correct duties and taxes for goods entering and leaving the UK through ports and airports.  The new service will be critical to how the government manages the new customs environment when … Read more

Summer 2018

Sale of Student Loans

In December 2017 the UK Government sold part of the student loans book. This is the first disposal in a four year programme of sales. The programme, announced in February 2017, intends to dispose of all income contingent loans issued before 2012. The sale achieved £1.7 billion from 1.2 million loans which entered repayment between … Read more

Summer 2018

Developing new models of healthcare through NHS vanguards

In its Five Year Forward View, NHS England set out its intention to develop new models of care in response to increasing demand for healthcare and financial pressure on the NHS. In 2015, NHS England selected 50 vanguard sites to lead the development of five new care models, using a locally-driven approach with frontline staff … Read more

Summer 2018

The health and social care interface

The government has made a commitment to integrating health and social care. Local authorities and local health bodies have been attempting to improve joint working across health and social care for many years, including through a range of initiatives such as the Better Care Fund, Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships, the New Care Models vanguards, and … Read more

Summer 2018

Packaging recycling obligations

Packaging recycling obligations apply to all companies with sufficiently high turnover who handle a certain amount of packaging each year, and require companies to demonstrate that they have recycled a proportion of that packaging. Companies comply by buying ‘packaging recovery notes (PRN)’ from reprocessing companies in the UK, or from companies exporting waste for recycling abroad. … Read more

Summer 2018

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs Annual Report and Accounts 2017-18

This report will be our commentary on HMRC’s performance in 2017-18. It will consider HMRC’s performance in administering the UK tax system in 2017-18, provide an update on the Department’s transformation programme, with particular focus on its re-prioritisation exercise in light of the additional workload due to the UK’s exit from the European Union, and … Read more

Autumn 2018

Financial sustainability of police forces 2018

The NAO last reported on the financial sustainability of police forces in 2015, finding that police forces did not have a clear understanding of the demands placed upon them, or of the factors that affect their costs. It also found that the Home Office, the Government department responsible for police services, did not have good … Read more

Autumn 2018

Improving government’s business planning

While welcoming efforts to improve government’s business planning through the introduction of Single Departmental Plans, Parliament’s Committee of Public Accounts has expressed concern about government’s ability to reprioritise activities and resources to make space for EU Exit work. This study looks at the new approach to business planning in light of this challenge, and of … Read more

Autumn 2018

The Intercity East Coast franchise

The East Coast franchise covers intercity routes between London King’s Cross and Yorkshire, the north-east and Scotland. The franchise started in 2015, and had been due to run till 2023. In November 2017, the Department announced that the franchise would be replaced by a new ‘East Coast Partnership’ from 2020, bringing trains and infrastructure under … Read more

Autumn 2018

Mental health services for children and young people

This study is part of the National Audit Office’s programme of work on mental health, and will focus on services for children and young people. It will primarily consider NHS-funded services, but will also look at services provided in other settings such as in schools and by local authorities where relevant. The study will consider … Read more

Autumn 2018

E20: renewing the EastEnders set

EastEnders is a flagship programme for the BBC, which appeals to a broad range of audiences. The BBC is currently carrying out a project, known as ‘E20’, to replace and enlarge the EastEnders set and associated infrastructure at BBC Elstree. The existing set was built in 1985. It is being replaced because film technology has … Read more

Autumn 2018

Managing demand for children’s services

Children’s services cost local government in excess of £8 billion every year. For many local authorities these services are a significant portion of their annual budget. The children’s services sector has consistently warned that it is facing a growing crisis of financial and service sustainability, as demand for its services increases and local government funding … Read more

Autumn 2018

The role of HM Treasury spending teams

This study will look at financial decision making in government, focusing on the role of HM Treasury spending teams and, specifically, the dynamic between these teams and departments. We will examine the way in which spending teams influence key decisions; the extent to which the operating model supports effective monitoring and scrutiny of departments; and … Read more

Autumn 2018

The Motability Scheme

The Motability Scheme enables disabled people in receipt of qualifying benefits to be more mobile through using their mobility allowance to lease a car, scooter or powered wheelchair. On behalf of disabled people who choose to use the Scheme, the Department for Work and Pensions pays the benefit directly to Motability Operations Group plc, who … Read more

Autumn 2018

Immigration Casework

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) is part of the Home Office and is responsible for making decisions on who has the right to visit or stay in the country. It manages around 3 million visa applications a year from overseas nationals applying to come to the UK to visit, study or work, as well as … Read more

Autumn 2018

Review of Clinical Commissioning Groups’ administration costs

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) were created following the Health and Social Care Act in 2012, and replaced Primary Care Trusts on 1 April 2013. They are clinically-led statutory NHS bodies responsible for the planning and commissioning of health care services for their local area. The Comptroller and Auditor General has started a review of the … Read more

Autumn 2018

Smart Meters

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy is leading the rollout of smart meters to all homes and small businesses in Great Britain by 2020. This will impact around 30 million premises. Smart meters will enable consumers to see what energy they are using in monetary terms, and will communicate with their energy suppliers … Read more

Autumn 2018

The BBC’s engagement with personal service companies

In addition to its staff, the BBC engages with large volumes of self-employed people, many of whom operate as personal service companies. In 2017, the government introduced reforms to the off payroll working rules (IR35) in the public sector, and HMRC introduced a new digital service to help people determine employment status. Some people who … Read more

Early 2019

Government’s innovation funding

Government invests in research and development to drive productivity, promote economic prosperity and growth, tackle challenges to our society and expand human knowledge. Total government expenditure on R&D was £8.7 billion in 2016. This study will examine the value for money of around £1 billion per annum of public R&D funding directed at innovation. If … Read more

Early 2019

The apprenticeships programme: follow up

We last reported to Parliament on the apprenticeships programme in September 2016. Since then there have been a number of developments which make revisiting this topic timely, including: a 0.5% levy has been introduced on the payroll of large employers to fund apprenticeships a new Institute for Apprenticeships has been established to ensure quality employer-designed … Read more