In January 2024 the Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts (PAC) asked the Comptroller & Auditor General (C&AG) to consider a thematic review of government compensation schemes for citizens who have suffered harm, hardship and distress from failures by public bodies. In her letter, the PAC Chair drew attention to several schemes currently in the public eye:

  • the Windrush compensation scheme
  • compensation and restorative measures for LGBT veterans of the UK armed forces
  • the proposed Infected Blood compensation scheme
  • compensation for sub-postmasters affected by the Horizon IT scandal

The C&AG has agreed that this would be a timely moment to update messages from the NAO’s 2008 thematic review of the administration of time-limited compensation schemes. The review will be expanded to include the findings from a range of more recent NAO reports on schemes of all kinds, from compensation for members of the British Steel Pensions Scheme to the Windrush Compensation Scheme. The NAO will also discuss lessons learned with administrators and stakeholders of other schemes. 


This review will:

  • synthesise lessons learned from more than 20 years of NAO reports on the different types of government compensation schemes
  • draw on lessons from our experience of auditing public-facing services across government
  • reflect the experiences of those involved in the schemes, including those the PAC Chair mentioned

NAO Team

Director: Simon Reason
Audit Manager: Jeremy Gostick