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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
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.
Full description
National Audit Office , issued in 2015
Risk cases: 5
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
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
Online fraud
Uneven response to online fraud This type of fraud can affect everyone, but yet it is not a strategic priority for local police forces and the response from industry is uneven. UK NAO underlines: For too long, as a low-value but high-volume crime, online fraud has been overlooked by government, law enforcement and industry. It is a crime that can affect everyone. Fraud is now the most commonly experienced crime in England and Wales, is growing rapidly and demands an urgent response. Yet fraud is not a strategic priority for local police forces, and the response from industry is uneven.
Full description
National Audit Office , issued in 2017
Risk cases: 6
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...
Full description
National Audit Office , issued in 2011
Risk cases: 6
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
The BBC’s understanding of its audiences and users
Understand your audience, BBC Audience data and insights are critical to the success of broadcasters - which is also true in the case of the world renowned British Broadcasting Corporation. Auditors reviewed the BBC's main projects and the analyst team dedicated to collect and interpret the audience related information. Data coherence, review of performance and benefits traicing - belong to key areas in need of substantial refinements.
Full description
National Audit Office , issued in 2019
Risk cases: 6
Improving government’s planning and spending framework
Value for money vs. short-term planning NAO reviewed the UK government's progress in improving their planning and spending framework. The auditors found that the complex structure and lack of longer term perspective in planning form a significant obstacle to fully benefit from the framework.
Full description
National Audit Office , issued in 2018
Risk cases: 7
Homelessness
Homelessness grows despite increased spendings to reduce it British NAO analyses the root-causes of unsuccessful effort to reduce homelessness in England. They point at a side effect of the Goverment reform of welfare reform and at lack of full impact assessment.
Full description
National Audit Office , issued in 2016
Risk cases: 3
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