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Report details
Early 2019

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

Early 2019

Oil and gas in the UK – offshore decommissioning

The UK has exploited its oil and gas reserves, primarily in the North Sea, since the 1960s. Production peaked in the mid-1980s and again in the late-1990s, and has declined steadily since then. Throughout, oil and gas have contributed significantly to domestic energy supply, but this is declining as the government shifts to cleaner energy … Read more

Early 2019

The administration of the Welsh rate of income tax 2017-18

For the first time this year the NAO will be reporting on HMRC’s preparations for the administration of the Welsh rate of income taxes under the Government of Wales Act 2006 in preparation for the devolution of income tax powers to Wales for the 2018-19 tax year. The report will provide an update on the … Read more

Early 2019

Investigation into adult health screening

In May 2018 the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care informed Parliament on an IT failure in the NHS breast screening programme that led to an estimated 450,000 women not receiving their final breast screening appointment. The Comptroller and Auditor General is undertaking an investigation into four adult screening programmes: abdominal aortic aneurysm … 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

Early 2019

Investigation into Crossrail

The Department for Transport (the department) jointly sponsors, with Transport for London, the Crossrail programme. This will deliver a new railway beneath central London, which will be known as the Elizabeth Line. New rail services will operate on the line between Abbey Wood and Shenfield to the East of London, and Heathrow and Reading in … Read more

Early 2019

Planning for new homes

Housing is one of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s key objectives. The government has pledged that between 2015 and 2022, they will deliver 1.5 million new homes. In 2017, the Department set out proposals as to how it would ‘fix the broken housing market’ – including through the planning regime – in … Read more

Early 2019

Transforming Rehabilitation: progress review

In June 2014, the then Government introduced its Transforming Rehabilitation reforms. These reforms aimed to open up the market to a diverse range of rehabilitation providers from the private and voluntary sectors to promote innovative approaches to reducing re-offending. They also extended statutory rehabilitation for those serving sentences of less than 12 months and introduced … Read more

Early 2019

The National Cyber Security Programme

In November 2015, government announced that it would follow up its previous National Cyber Security Programme with another five-year programme. The latest programme is now halfway through its life and is designed to tackle and mitigate the cyber security threats that the United Kingdom faces. The NAO reported on the previous National Cyber Security Programme … Read more

Early 2019

Reforming the civilian workforce

The National Audit Office is carrying out a value for money study examining how the Ministry of Defence is reforming its civilian workforce. We plan to examine whether the Department has a clear vision for, and effective approach to, managing its civilian workforce and how it is preparing to meet future challenges. We will look … Read more

Spring 2019

DWP’s employment support for disabled people

The Government set itself the goal of seeing 1 million more disabled people in employment by 2027 in its policy paper Improving Lives: the Future of Work, Health and Disability. This study will examine the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) employment support to people with disabilities and long-term health conditions. In particular it will consider … Read more

Spring 2019

NHS waiting times for elective and cancer care

The NHS Constitution sets out the maximum time patients should wait for elective and cancer services, which the Department of Health and Social Care incorporates into the waiting times standards it expects the NHS to meet. Performance against waiting times standards has been deteriorating as demand for services has grown. The standard for elective care … Read more

Spring 2019

South West road improvements and the Stonehenge Tunnel

In its 2015 Road Investment Strategy, the Department for Transport announced its intention to upgrade the A303/A358/A30 corridor to create an Expressway to the South West. Upgrade works include the construction of a £1.6 billion tunnel under the World Heritage Site at Stonehenge. This study will examine whether the Department for Transport and Highways England … Read more

Spring 2019

Support for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities

This study is part of the National Audit Office’s programme of work on services for children, and will focus on whether the Department for Education supports pupils with special educational needs and disabilities effectively. The study will cover all school-aged children needing support for special educational needs and disabilities, both those with an education, health … Read more

Spring 2019

Investigation into overpayments of Carer’s Allowance

Carer’s Allowance is a benefit paid by the Department for Work and Pensions to carers who meet eligibility criteria. At an estimated rate of 5.5% it has one of the highest rates of fraud and error of all benefits administered by the Department. The Work & Pensions Committee published correspondence in November 2018 from Peter … Read more

Spring 2019

Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme – progress review

The Department for Communities and Local Government (now the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) introduced the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme in 2013 to boost the supply of new homes and support home ownership. The Ministry expects the scheme to support the sale of up to 360,000 homes by 2021, at an … Read more

Summer 2019

The effectiveness of Official Development Assistance spending

The UK spent £14.1 billion on Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2017. This was the fifth consecutive year that the UK has met the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) target to spend 0.7% of gross national income on ODA. Over this period a decreasing proportion of ODA has been spent by the Department … Read more

Summer 2019

NHS spend on medicines

NHS spending on medicines is growing at a faster rate than the overall NHS budget. In 2016-17, the Department of Health & Social Care estimates that the NHS spent £15.4 billion on medicines. The NHS identified its spend on medicines as one the ten areas for efficiency in its 2017 strategy Next Steps on the … Read more

Autumn 2019

Government support to business

The support that government extends to businesses and industries is substantial and complex, including loans, grants, tax reliefs, training and business advice. Delivering this support is spread across central government departments and local bodies. Currently, the European Union provides around £4 billion in funding to some forms of business support. The study will examine whether … Read more