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Spring 2018

Transforming our Courts

Government has acknowledged that the justice system is complex, slow and costly. In 2015, Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service launched a £1 billion, six year programme of work that aims to: Ensure justice is accessible to those who seek it; Create a system that is financially viable through a more cost-effective infrastructure (physical and … Read more

Spring 2018

Ofsted’s inspection of schools

Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) inspects a wide range of education and skills providers and social care services for children and young people, and regulates providers in some settings such as children’s homes. Through its work, Ofsted aims to raise the standard of education and quality of life for … Read more

Spring 2018

The 2017 contract for difference auction

In September 2017, the government announced that contracts for difference had been awarded to 11 low-carbon electricity generation projects. Contracts for difference are contracts between an electricity generator and the Low Carbon Contracts Company – a government-owned company – whereby the generator is paid a set ‘strike price’ for the electricity they generate for a … Read more

Spring 2018

The Department for Education’s oversight of the Student Loans Company

The Student Loans Company administers loans and grants to students at universities and colleges across the UK. It processes around 1.8 million applications a year, and has over 8 million customers repaying or due to repay loans totalling some £117 billion. Our investigation focuses on the circumstances leading up to the dismissal of the chief … Read more

Spring 2018

NHS England’s management of the Primary Care Support contract with Capita

Scope of investigation In October 2015 NHS England commissioned Capita Business Services Ltd to undertake a major transformation of primary care support services over a 7-year period and deliver significant cost savings. This includes GP pay and pensions, management of medical records, patient registration and maintenance of lists of new GPs. In spring 2016 NHS … Read more

Spring 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

Spring 2018

Defence nuclear enterprise: A landscape

Maintaining a continuous at sea deterrent, through its nuclear ballistic submarines, represents a top priority for the Ministry of Defence. To provide the deterrent, the Department needs to bring together a range of complex and challenging programmes and organisations, often known as the Nuclear Enterprise. The NAO will publish a factual landscape report on the … Read more

Summer 2018

Increased spend on generic drugs

In 2016-17, based on list prices and before any discounts, the NHS spent £17.4 billion on medicines. In recent months the prices of some generic medicines, which are copies of brand-named drugs, have increased. This is creating unexpected pressure on the budgets of clinical commissioning groups. The Comptroller and Auditor General has started an investigation … Read more

Summer 2018

Rolling-out Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a single benefit for working age people both in and out of work, which replaces six existing means-tested benefits and tax credits. It is available to all eligible claimants through the Universal Credit full service. In May 2016, the Department for Work and Pensions started rolling out the full service to jobcentres … Read more

Summer 2018

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. The NDA is responsible for the operation, decommissioning and clean-up of 17 nuclear reactor and research sites in the UK. Of the 17 sites, Sellafield is the largest in terms of size and annual expenditure. … 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

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

The return of Lloyds Banking Group to private ownership

At the height of the financial crisis in late 2008, the government provided support to the banking sector, including the purchase of more than £20 billion of shares in Lloyds Banking Group (Lloyds). In September 2013, the government sold just over 15 per cent of the taxpayers’ shares in Lloyds to institutional investors. The National … 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

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

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