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Report details
Autumn 2019

Investigation into Military Flying Training

The Ministry of Defence must train sufficient aircrew with the right skills to operate its front line aircraft. In 2008, the Ministry of Defence signed a 25-year contract with an industry provider, Ascent, to deliver core flying training for aircrew. The new training was intended to: optimise time in training; close the gap between the … Read more

Autumn 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

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. The European Union provides support to UK businesses of around £3 billion a year. The study will review a sample of … Read more

Autumn 2019

Transforming courts and tribunals: a progress update

In 2016, Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) launched an ambitious reform programme to modernise and upgrade the justice system by introducing new technology and working practices across the courts and tribunals system. HMCTS is approximately half way through the reforms and is approaching a critical phase to scale up the delivery of new … Read more

Autumn 2019

Shale gas fracking (hydraulic fracturing)

The government says shale gas fracking (hydraulic fracturing) has the potential to support greater energy security, economic growth and jobs as part of the UK’s transition to a lower carbon economy. It contends that a strong regulation regime will ensure on-site safety, prevent environmental contamination, mitigate seismic activity and minimise greenhouse gas emissions. Following widespread … Read more

Autumn 2019

The Equipment Plan 2019-2029

The Ministry of Defence’s (the Department’s) Equipment Plan will set out its equipment and support budget for the period from 2019 to 2029. It includes spending on equipment already in use and equipment in development. It accounts for more than 40% of the Department’s total spending, meaning stability of the wider defence budget depends on … Read more

Autumn 2019

British Business Bank

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a major role in the economy but sometimes have problems accessing finance. British Business Bank, which launched in 2014, supports SMEs in accessing finance to start and grow their businesses. The study will test whether the British Business Bank is optimally delivering access to finance for small and medium-sized … Read more

Autumn 2019

Management of nuclear-licensed infrastructure projects

The Ministry of Defence (the Department) requires specialist infrastructure, such as docks and assembly facilities, to support its Nuclear Enterprise. In our 2018 landscape report we described the infrastructure environment and listed a series of projects which the Department had underway to upgrade facilities and build what it needs to support the Enterprise. A number … Read more

Late 2019

Review of capital expenditure in the NHS

The National Audit Office is undertaking a review of capital expenditure in the NHS. This follows on from our January 2019 report on NHS Financial Sustainability, which described issues with capital funding and planning, or how the NHS spends money on buying or improving assets such as facilities and technologies. This review will build on … Read more

Autumn 2019

The use of digital technology in the NHS

The Department of Health & Social Care (the Department) and the NHS have published plans to use digital technology to help transform the way the NHS works. This study will consider whether the Department and the NHS have developed a workable strategy to deliver their ambitions on digital technology and data; whether they understand the … Read more

Late 2019

Improving the prison estate

The capacity of the prison estate is under strain and much of it is in poor condition. HM Chief Inspector of Prisons documented some of the most disturbing conditions the Inspectorate had ever seen in 2017-18.  HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) has committed to improving the prison estate, including providing up to 10,000 new … Read more

Late 2019

Local authority commercial investment

Local authorities are subject to financial pressures from reductions in government funding and increased demand for services. One way that local authorities are responding is by making commercial investments to provide income (sometimes alongside other objectives). While local authorities have a long history of owning commercial assets, the last three years have seen a step-change … Read more

Winter 2019-20

Supporting disadvantaged families through free early education and childcare entitlements

This study is part of the National Audit Office’s programme of work on services for children. It will focus on whether the Department for Education supports disadvantaged families and children effectively through the provision of entitlements to free early education and childcare. The study will cover the three entitlements funded by the Department for Education … Read more

Early 2020

Defence capabilities: delivering what was promised

The Ministry of Defence’s (the Department) need to deliver new defence capabilities quickly and in full is becoming more urgent due to pressures on resources and rapid developments in technology. Failure to deliver will see capability gaps, overextended use of old assets and extra costs from delays to delivery. Delivering a capability is about more … Read more

Early 2020

Fraud and error – managing the income risk

The level of fraud and error in benefit expenditure, excluding the State Pension, in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has led to the Department’s accounts being qualified for more than 30 years, yet fraud and error rates are at their highest ever.   The DWP has put in place an updated counter-fraud and … Read more