Report details
Summer 2017

The new generation electronic monitoring programme

The Ministry of Justice has used electronic monitoring for the management of offenders since 1999. In 2011 the Ministry sought to re-procure the service through a multi-supplier model, but the programme has been heavily delayed and a new service is not yet in place. This study will seek to explore the key reasons for the … Read more

Autumn 2017

Evaluating the government balance sheet: Borrowing

In June 2016, the National Audit Office published a series of reports which explored some of the major risks to public finances highlighted in the Whole of Government Accounts (WGA). These reports examined how these risks to the balance sheet have changed in recent years and considered how the government manages them. This study, the … Read more

Summer 2017

Sustainability within the Ministry of Justice

The Environmental Audit Committee has requested a review of sustainability within the Ministry of Justice. The briefing will examine: The Department’s arrangements to support and promote sustainability within: policy and policy making; governance and leadership; estates and operations and procurement. The most significant environmental issues the Department faces now and in the future. The Department’s … Read more

Summer 2017

Online Fraud

Growth in the use of the internet and advances in digital technologies means that people can do more online, from communicating via social media to shopping and banking. However, criminals based anywhere in the world now also have increasing opportunities to commit fraud online too. Traditional crimes in the UK such as burglary and car … Read more

Summer 2017

Mental Health in Prisons

The 2016 Queen’s speech outlined prison reforms that put an emphasis on rehabilitation and reducing re-offending, and aspired to improve mental health services as part of this effort.The Department of Health and NHS England have commitment to “parity of esteem” between physical and mental health by 2020. A significant proportion of prisoners suffer from mental … Read more

Summer 2017

Sheffield tram trains

The Sheffield-Rotherham tram trains project is a national pilot scheme to trial tram train technology and assess how it could be used elsewhere in the country. The aim is to improve passenger services and improve connectivity by enabling heavy rail to penetrate city centres by using existing light rail networks. The project is a joint … Read more

Autumn 2017

Securing Value For Money from non-competitive procurement in defence

The study will address the MOD’s use of non-competitive procurement, focusing primarily on equipment procurement and support. The lack of competition in defence procurement is an age-old challenge for government and it will remain an important and unavoidable feature of the UK defence industry for years to come. The National Audit Office last examined this … Read more

Autumn 2017

Alternative Higher Education providers

In December 2014, the National Audit Office published a report: Investigation into financial support for students at alternative higher education providers. The report identified a number of issues about the arrangements for oversight and funding of alternative higher education providers. The Committee of Public Accounts took evidence on the report in December 2014 and published … Read more

Autumn 2017

Research and development: funding and oversight across government

Around £9bn is spent annually on research and development across government. BEIS has overall responsibility for government spending on science, technology and engineering but nearly 30% of science funding comes from other government departments. This study will establish whether departments are well-placed to maximise the impact of government’s investment in research and development by examining … Read more

Summer 2017

Managing the Official Development Assistance target – an update

In 2013, the UK met the OECD target of spending 0.7% of its gross national income on aid – known as Official Development Assistance (ODA). The target was also met in 2014 and 2015. The target is now part of UK legislation. Under the UK Government’s new aid strategy introduced in November 2015, an increasing proportion (12% … Read more

Summer 2017

Managing the costs of clinical negligence in trusts

Clinical negligence claims against NHS hospitals cost a significant and rising amount each year. In 2015-16, the Department of Health’s clinical negligence provision totalled £56 billion, and its expenditure in this area was over £1.5 billion. The NHS Litigation Authority (NHS LA) manages clinical negligence claims for all trusts in England. Its main scheme is … Read more

Autumn 2017

Supporting and improving the teaching workforce

In March 2016, the Department for Education set out its ambition to build on and extend its reforms to achieve educational excellence everywhere. Having enough high quality teachers underpins this ambition. This study will examine the progress the Department, in conjunction with the education sector, has made to improve the quality of the teaching workforce … Read more

Autumn 2017

The first sale of shares in Royal Bank of Scotland

In 2008 Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) participated in the UK government’s bank recapitalisation scheme. This resulted in the government becoming the majority shareholder in RBS. The gross cost of this recapitalisation, and a subsequent one in 2009, was in excess of £45bn according to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR, Nov 2016). In August … Read more

Autumn 2017

Department for Culture, Media and Sport: National Lottery funding of good causes

The National Lottery was launched in 1994 and generates over £1.6 billion per year for good causes. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport sets lottery policy and one if its arm’s length bodies, the Gambling Commission, regulates the National Lottery operator Camelot. In 2016-17 income from National Lottery sales available to good causes has … Read more

Autumn 2017

Update on the Thameslink Programme

The Department for Transport is sponsoring a £7 billion programme to increase passenger capacity on the Thameslink route through central London. The programme involves the improvement of tracks, signalling and stations, a new fleet of trains and new franchise arrangements for running the passenger service on the Thameslink route. Our previous report Progress in delivering … Read more

Summer 2017

NHS continuing healthcare investigation

NHS continuing healthcare is the name given to a package of care for individuals who are not in hospital but have significant ongoing health care needs. Patients can receive NHS continuing healthcare in any setting, including their own home or in a care home. The cost of NHS continuing healthcare is met by the NHS, … Read more

Summer 2017

Investigation: Clinical correspondence handling at NHS Shared Business Services

NHS Shared Business Services (SBS) was commissioned by NHS England to attempt to trace and redirect correspondence intended for a patient’s GP, but which was initially sent by the originating sender to the wrong GP practice. This service was limited to three geographical areas – North East London, the South West of England and the … Read more

Autumn 2017

Care Quality Commission

This report is the latest in a series of NAO reports on the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The NAO is examining whether the CQC is taking appropriate action to address the changing risks to patient care. This study will focus on: how the CQC makes use of its current powers and engages with other organisations; the level … Read more

Autumn 2017

PFI and PF2

Since the introduction of PFI in the 1990’s private finance procurement has provided government departments with around £60 billion of investment. Unlike conventional forms of procurement the use of private finance means that the public sector doesn’t have to pay for the construction of the asset upfront. Instead it transfers construction risk to the private … Read more

Winter 2017

Department for Work and Pensions Estates Management

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) employs nearly 80,000 people in around 900 buildings. DWP’s 20-year PFI contract with Telereal Trillium covers 96% of its estate and expires on 31 March 2018. The end of the contract offers the Department the opportunity to revise its current estate needs and to create a new estate … Read more

Summer 2017


An individual is homeless if they have no safe accommodation available. All measures of homelessness have increased since 2010. In 2016, almost 76,000 homeless households in England were housed in temporary accommodation by local authorities (a 58% increase since 2010). The direct spending of local authorities on homelessness in 2016 exceeded £1 billion and is … Read more


The higher education market

Government provides £9 billion a year of up-front funding for higher education (HE). As the balance of this funding has shifted away from teaching grants towards tuition fee loans, market mechanisms such as student choice and provider competition play an increasingly important role in supporting public policy objectives including value for money. This study examines … Read more

Autumn 2017

Investigation: Improving Access to Psychological Therapies performance data

The ‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapies’ (IAPT) programme increases access to National Institute for Health and Care Excellence approved treatment for depression and anxiety disorders. In October 2014, the Department of Health and NHS England jointly published Achieving Better Access to Mental Health Services by 2020. This set new standards for the time people should … Read more

Autumn 2017

Adult social care workforce

The adult social care workforce is made up of over 1.4 million people, with more than 19,000 organisations providing care. This study will look at how central government and other national bodies work with local authorities and providers to ensure there are enough paid care workers, with the right skills and qualities, to meet adults’ … Read more

Winter 2017

Department for Education: Converting schools to academies

Converting maintained schools to academies continues to be a key education policy. The Department for Education believes that ‘all schools should benefit from the freedom and autonomy that academy status brings’. Approximately 30% of schools (over 6,400) have so far become academies. Academy trusts take on significant new responsibilities, with extra financial, legal and governance … Read more

Autumn 2017

Green Investment Bank

The Government created the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) in 2012 to accelerate the UK’s transition to a greener, stronger economy. The GIB invests in green infrastructure projects across the UK, and is designed to form a key part of the UK’s efforts to achieve its legally binding environmental targets. In July 2015, government announced … Read more

Autumn 2017

Reducing modern slavery in the UK

The Home Office estimates that there were 10,000-13,000 potential victims of modern slavery in the UK in 2013, which includes victims of sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation, forced and compulsory labour, domestic servitude and human trafficking. The Home Office introduced the Modern Slavery strategy in 2014 with the aim of significantly reducing the prevalence of modern … Read more

Late 2017

Delivering STEM skills for the economy

In January 2017 the government set out its intention to ‘boost’ STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) skills in the economy. This intention sits at the heart of the government’s flagship Industrial Strategy, which aims to improve living standards and help the economy prosper by increasing productivity and driving growth. This early-stage review will assess … Read more

Autumn 2017

Forensic audit of the UKTI specialist services contract with PA Consulting

In June 2016 the NAO reported the results of its first investigation into the UKTI specialist services contract with PA Consulting. At the time we concluded that “understanding exactly what happened in letting and negotiating this contract is difficult due to the lack of proper documentation, the disagreement between parties and, now, the absence of … Read more

Winter 2017

Low carbon heating of homes and businesses and the Renewable Heat Incentive

To meet the targets in the 2008 Climate Change Act, the energy used for heating in homes and businesses will need to be significantly decarbonised. The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) has been the government’s major programme for decarbonising heat. Under RHI, homes and businesses can apply for subsidies if they install low carbon heating systems … Read more

Spring 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 interventions undertaken in schools and by local authorities where relevant. The study will consider the government’s progress in implementing … Read more