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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
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
The rural broadband programme
Intervention in a noncompetitive market The British NAO's audit report of 2013 concerns ambitious yet delayed UK government programme, which objective was to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015. The report focuses on one of the programme's main problems: rural areas, where commercial providers had no plans to invest, because of lower returns.
Full description
National Audit Office , issued in 2013
Risk cases: 7
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
Housing in England: overview
Efforts to support housing Even if housebuilding in England has not kept pace with need and there has been a reduction in social rented homes, significant advantages can be enjoyed: an increase in home ownership and in the number of private rented homes. The quality of housing improved in recent years too. The National Audit Office has reviewed critical elements of the housing being one of the government's key priorities. Looking for risks, they found that a potential conflict of objectives can lead to tensions in delivery.
Full description
National Audit Office , issued in 2017
Risk cases: 2
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
Performance measurement by regulators
Performance measurement for regulators Primary adressees of this good practice guide - by the British NAO - are regulators, the public institutions established for making sure that an industry or system works legally and fairly. But we are sure that many more can find this guidance useful - including auditors. NAO presents a comprehensible framework for performance measurement and hints how to focus on influence that regulators can use.
Full description
National Audit Office , issued in 2016
Risk cases: 2
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
Improving broadband
Lessons of Superfast Programme UK NAO's report on goverments extensive support to the superfast internet, with special focus on the Future Programme perspectives. Influence of the COVID-19 pandemic considered.
Full description
National Audit Office , issued in 2020
Risk cases: 7
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
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