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Scheduled
Report details
Spring 2021

Initial learning from the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

This report will draw on the breadth of the NAO’s work on the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic to set out our perspectives on what government can learn from its response to date. By the end of March 2021, the NAO will have published 17 reports on the government’s response to COVID-19. This report … Read more

Spring 2021

Improving the performance of defence equipment contracts

Over many years the NAO has reported on delays and cost overruns across significant Ministry of Defence (MoD) equipment procurement programmes, such as boats 4-7 of the Astute attack submarine (£1 billion over budget) and the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers (£2.75 billion over budget). Our recent report Defence Capabilities: delivering what was promised, found that … Read more

Summer 2021

NHS Test and Trace – progress update

The NHS Test and Trace Service provides an essential component of government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its stated aim is: ‘Helping to break chains of COVID-19 transmission, protect the public’s health, and enable people to return towards a more normal way of life’. It seeks to achieve this by finding people with COVID-19, identifying … Read more

Summer 2021

Government’s delivery through ALBs

Government uses a range of delivery models to carry out its policy objectives, including arm’s length bodies. Arm’s length bodies account for around £200 billion of public expenditure a year and employ approximately 300,000 staff. They perform a variety of different functions across government including; running key public services, regulating public services and providing advice … Read more

Summer 2021

Investigation into Greensill Capital

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the government launched a series of schemes providing financial support to businesses of all sizes. Of these, the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) provided support to the largest businesses—those with a minimum turnover of £45 million. Commercial lenders (for example, banks, building societies and peer to peer … Read more

Autumn 2021

DWP employment support: overview

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the labour market, and unemployment in the UK is expected to increase significantly. The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) provides a range of support for unemployed people through Jobcentres and through more intensive programmes, such as the Work and Health Programme. In response to the pandemic, DWP has announced a range of measures to support people to get and … Read more

Autumn 2021

Managing the backlog in criminal courts

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated a growing backlog of cases waiting to be tried in the criminal courts system. During the first national lockdown, HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) closed some court buildings, and suspended all jury trials. Since then, courts have reopened, but national guidelines for social distancing mean they are unable to … Read more

Autumn 2021

The management of debt owed to HMRC

In 2019-20 HM Revenue and Customs collected £636.7 billion in total tax revenues. The amount of tax overdue for payment at 31 March 2020 was £22.4 billion. On 20 March 2020, the government announced measures that deferred future payments of some taxes, in recognition of the financial pressures put on taxpayers as a result of … Read more

Winter 2021/2022

Financial modelling in government

Government relies on hundreds – possibly thousands – of models for a huge variety of critical activities, from forecasting spending plans to guiding operational decision making. It is increasingly relying on these models with more data now available and an increased emphasis on evidence-driven decision-making.  Government last published guidance on modelling – the Aqua Book … Read more