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Digital transformation in government
Support exemplars, provide consistent guidance... and do not lose focus As the NAO states: Government faces significant challenges in providing public services. While many government services are now available online, public administration is struggling to manage more complicated programmes and to improve the complex systems and processes that support public services.
Full description
National Audit Office , issued in 2017
Risk cases: 4
Identifying and meeting central government's skills requirements
Start with well managed responsibilities UK Departments have invested heavily in skills development. Government estimates that expenditure on formal training, including salary costs of departmental learning and development staff, was £275 million in 2009-10. NAO identified weaknesses of the system which start with devolved responsibilities, lead to: weak data, mis-profiled trainings, doubtful personal decisions, lack of well-targeted evaluation - and finish at more expensive buying-in and retaining key skills...
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National Audit Office , issued in 2011
Risk cases: 6
The Shared Services Centre
The necessary environment for the efficient management of the Shared Service Center is lacking The department's administration of the Shared Services Centre (SSC) has been effective for sharing resources between the departments and delivering selected back-office services to a small client base. However, the governance arrangements established to oversight the SSC have not positioned it well for the future and the departments have not yet determined if the arrangement is efficient and resulting in savings. ANAO found instances where the advisory board of SSC was not consulted or involved in decisions relating to the strategic direction, financial arrangements and expenditure priorities. Information reported to the board did not focus on areas of strategic importance and the quality and completeness of this information could be improved. The mechanisms established for setting out responsibilities and obligations and ensuring transparency for services delivered by the SSC was weak. Service standards and levels were not fixed and can change. The delineation of responsibilities between the SSC and its clients was not clear and there was no commitment by the SSC to certify the quality of its control framework.
Full description
The Australian National Audit Office , issued in 2016
Risk cases: 2
Good Practice in Annual Reports 2016-17
Reporting: a real skill The Building Public Trust Awards, sponsored by PwC, have been running for 15 years and the British NAO co-sponsors the public sector award. The Good Practices in annual reports 2016-2017 present eye-opening examples of how to make complex reports easily understandable and how to clearly outline goals and achievement of them.
Full description
National Audit Office , issued in 2018
Risk cases: 4
Central government staff costs
Results of staff reductions The British NAO found that departments had significantly reduced numbers of their civil servants and of course salary costs at the same time. But they reduced staff numbers mainly by minimising recruitment, and the age profile of the civil service has changed. NAO pays a lot attention to what effect this has had on the future pipeline of talent and skills. It reminds also that the departments need long-term operating models to work efficiently with the staff reduced.
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National Audit Office , issued in 2015
Risk cases: 5
Electronic Health Records - VA Needs to Identify and Report Existing System Costs
Difficulties after 30 years of decentralized development The US Department of Veterans Affairs provides health care services to approximately 9 million veterans and their families. However, the IT system they use is more than 30 years old, is costly to maintain, and does not fully support exchanging health data. The US GAO, analyzed the system's modenization plans and found serious problems with definition and cost estimation.
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US Government Accountability Office , issued in 2019
Risk cases: 3
Use of consultants and temporary staff
New skills needed in a longer term UK NAO: Used well, consultants and temporary staff can be an important source of specialist skills and capabilities that are uneconomic for departments to maintain in their permanent staff. Since 2009-10, the government has used spending controls to reduce its use of consultants and temporary staff, and by 2014-15 spending had fallen by £1.5 billion. However, spending has increased by between £400 million and £600 million since 2011-12, suggesting that this was more of a short-term reduction than a sustainable strategy. In the longer term, departments will need to develop workforce, skills and capacity plans to reduce their dependence on external skills. They will need to improve their strategic workforce planning to determine where they can deploy existing staff, where they need to recruit, and where they need to engage temporary resources. Without this, departments cannot demonstrate that they are achieving value for money from the use of consultants and temporary staff.
Full description
National Audit Office , issued in 2016
Risk cases: 7
Electronic Records. Management and Preservation Pose Challenges
Basics of electronic records management This audit of GAO, reported in 2003, can be helpful in looking for basic problems in electronic records management. These problems are compounded as computer hardware, application software, and even storage media become obsolete, as they may leave behind electronic records that can no longer be read.
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General Accountability Office , issued in 2003
Risk cases: 7
Conflicts of interest
First, recognise the conflicts of interest are a real risk the British NAO gathered a significant amount of intelligence on conflicts, particularly in the health and education sectors. These are areas of government where services are increasingly commissioned and delivered by parties at arm’s-length to departments. Conflicts of interest can occur naturally as a product of the way a system is designed and most often arise from operational situations.
Full description
National Audit Office , issued in 2015
Risk cases: 8
The effectiveness of Official Development Assistance expenditure
Need of more coordination and transparency The audit of the UK's Official Development Assistance revealed among others: fragmented responsibilities and difficulties in review and reporting. These led to difficulties in assessment of effectiveness of the assistance and of progress in implementing the UK Aid Strategy.
Full description
National Audit Office , issued in 2019
Risk cases: 4
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