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Accountability For Public Money Progress Report by Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts

Title Accountability for public money progress report
Author Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts
Publisher The Stationery Office
Release Date 2012-04-17
Category Business & Economics
Total Pages 76
ISBN 021504374X
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This report is a follow-up to the Committee's report on Accountability for Public Money (HC 740, session 2010-11 (ISBN 9780215559029)) an issue at the core of the relationship between Parliament and government. Accounting Officers remain accountable to Parliament for funds voted to their departments but the policy intention is that local bodies will have significant discretion over the services they deliver. In the Government's response, 'Accountability: Adapting to Decentralisation', Sir Bob Kerslake drew a distinction between those services that government delivers directly and those that it may fund but are delivered in more decentralised arrangements. He proposed that Accounting Officers set out, in Accountability System Statements, the arrangements they have in place to provide assurance about the probity and value for money of funds spent through devolved systems. All departments are expected to produce Statements by summer 2012. Departments have made a genuine effort to develop arrangements which reconcile accountability and localism but the Statements so far are unwieldy and considerably more needs to be done to improve their clarity, consistency and completeness. There is concern that accountability frameworks must drive value for money and, critically, are sufficiently robust to address the operational or financial failure of service providers. Departments are placing increasing reliance on market mechanisms such as user choice to drive up performance and value for money, but there are limits to what these mechanisms can achieve. The Treasury needs to take ownership of the system and ensure that the Comptroller and Auditor General has the necessary powers and rights of access to examine the value for money of funds spent through devolved systems

Department For Education by Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts

Title Department for Education
Author Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts
Publisher Stationery Office
Release Date 2012-05-11
Category Education
Total Pages 43
ISBN 021504407X
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The Department for Education is distributing £56.4 billion in 2011-12 to schools, local authorities and other public bodies for the delivery of education and children's services in England. The Department has set out how it intends to provide Parliament with assurance about the regularity, propriety and value for money in an Accountability System Statement (the Statement) of which the Committee has now seen three drafts. Responsibility for value for money is shared by the Department with schools, academy trusts, local authorities, the Young People's Learning Agency and the Department for Communities and Local Government. However, the Statement does not yet clearly describe the specific responsibilities of each body, how these will interact, or how the Department will assess value for money across the entire education system. The Department relies on local authorities and the YPLA to exercise financial oversight over local authority maintained schools and academies respectively. However, oversight by some local authorities is currently weak and could worsen as many authorities reduce the resources they devote to overseeing their schools. There are also concerns about whether the YPLA will have the right skills, systems and capacity to oversee the rapidly increasing numbers of academies expected in coming years. More consistent requirements for data and data returns must be applied to all schools so that academic and financial performance can be benchmarked, and all schools can be held accountable. The Department needs to enforce these requirements more stringently, particularly given previous problems with lack of compliance

Funding For Local Transport by Great Britain: National Audit Office

Title Funding for Local Transport
Author Great Britain: National Audit Office
Publisher The Stationery Office
Release Date 2012-10-25
Category Business & Economics
Total Pages 45
ISBN 0102980438
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In this report the National Audit Office identifies issues and risks which may arise as the Department for Transport devolves more control over funding and delivery of transport services to local bodies. The Department has recently announced proposals to devolve funding for major transport schemes to new local transport bodies and is also consulting on devolving bus funding and some responsibilities for rail services to local authorities. The spending watchdog is calling on the Department to clarify its approach as it implements these changes and moves into the new ways of working. This includes being clearer on who is accountable for local transport funding and how they will be held to account. The Department has already said it will assess whether local transport bodies have appropriate systems and processes in place. But it should clarify how it will check that these devolved arrangements continue to meet its standards and what action it will take if standards are not met. In the context of increasing pressure on local budgets, the Department should clarify how local transport data can be better used to judge value for money and to compare performance between local areas. It also needs to identify areas and activities most at risk of a drop in performance and clarify under what circumstances it would expect to intervene.

Department For Communities And Local Government by Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts

Title Department for Communities and Local Government
Author Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts
Publisher Stationery Office
Release Date 2013-06-07
Category Political Science
Total Pages 52
ISBN 0215058747
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Central government grant funding to local authorities is being cut by over a quarter in real terms (£7.6 billion) between 2011 and 2015. The Department for Communities and Local Government is also introducing fundamental changes to the local government finance system with reforms to business rates and council tax benefits, so the pressures on the sector are set to increase. The Department does not properly understand the overall impact on local services that will result from the funding reductions, nor has it modelled how funding changes may adversely affect other areas of the public sector. It must improve its ability to foresee what effects the full package of funding reductions and reforms will have on local authority areas, particularly for those authorities which face higher deprivation levels. Local authorities' statutory duties have stayed broadly the same, and in some areas, such as adult social care, the demand for services is increasing. There is a risk that the worst-affected councils will be unable to meet their statutory obligations, threatening their viability. The Department must clarify its plans to respond if councils become unviable. More information is needed to understand councils' spending and performance. The Department did not make clear how it will monitor councils' ability to cope with funding changes, or the extent to which they are able to do this by increasing efficiency rather than reducing services. Neither has it demonstrated that the information published is sufficient to provide assurance on the value for money with which councils spend their resources.

Mobile Technology In Policing by Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts

Title Mobile technology in policing
Author Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts
Publisher The Stationery Office
Release Date 2012-05-30
Category Law
Total Pages 53
ISBN 0215045300
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The Mobile Information Programme ran between 2008 and 2010. The Home Office (the Department) distributed £71 million of central funding through the National Policing Improvement Agency to police forces to enable them to buy over 41,000 new mobile devices (such as Blackberrys and Personal Data Assistants). There are significant gaps in accountability for value for money where the Department devolves responsibility for expenditure on a national programme to local police forces. Future accountability will be maintained locally through Police and Crime Commissioners, nationally to Parliament and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary will collect data to examine value for money of police forces. The Committee is not convinced this will be sufficient. The Department did not consider properly how the mobile devices could be used to improve ways of working and make efficiency savings. The Programme is forecast to contribute £125 million to cashable police service savings, yet so far police forces have declared cashable savings of just £0.6 million, less than 1% of the amount invested in the Programme. The Agency estimates that some £1.5 billion is spent annually on police ICT, 10% of total annual spend on policing. Reductions in central funding for police forces mean that collaboration and use of technology to make savings is essential. The Agency is being closed down this year, so progress on this will depend on the success of the new company, which aims to allow forces to respond to local IT requirements collaboratively but is based on voluntary cooperation.

Department For Work And Pensions by Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts

Title Department for Work and Pensions
Author Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts
Publisher The Stationery Office
Release Date 2012-05-15
Category Business & Economics
Total Pages 58
ISBN 0215045041
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The Work Programme, designed to help long-term unemployed people into sustainable employment, started in June 2011, replacing virtually all welfare to work programmes run by the Department for Work and Pensions. Over the next five years, the Programme is expected to help up to 3.3 million people at a cost of £3-5 billion. 18 prime contractors, each with sub-contractors, are contracted to deliver the Programme across England, Scotland and Wales. The Department has done well to introduce the Work Programme in 12 months. Prime contractors receive the majority of their payments once a participant has stayed in a job for a set period of time, with the length of time varying according to claimant group. Although some financial risks have been transferred to the providers, the test of whether the Programme is achieving value for money will be whether more people are in work as a result of the Programme than would have been if it had not existed and that the wider social benefits which underpin the cost benefit analysis are delivered in practice. The Department should seek assurance on a range of issues: that sub contractors are treated fairly, not misled into accepting inappropriate contracts, and receive the number of cases and funding they were promised; that harder to help claimants are not parked and ignored; and ensuring proper value for money. The Department relies on contractors to set minimum standards of service but has no measurable indicators against which the quality of service can be judged

Adult Apprenticeships by Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts

Title Adult apprenticeships
Author Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts
Publisher Stationery Office
Release Date 2012-05-17
Category Law
Total Pages 49
ISBN 021504505X
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills works with the Skills Funding Agency (the Agency) and the National Apprenticeship Service (the Service), to deliver the Apprenticeship Programme. Adult apprentices represented 325,500, or 71%, of the 457,200 apprentices who started their apprenticeship in the 2010/11 academic year. During the 2010-11 financial year the Department spent £451 million on adult apprenticeships. The Programme has been a success more than quadrupling the number of adult apprenticeships in the four years to 2010/11 and the proportion of adult apprentices successfully completing their apprenticeship has also risen, from around a third in 2004/05 to over three-quarters in 2010/11. Further work, however, needs to be done to maximise its impacts. The Department should improve its understanding of which apprenticeships offer the biggest returns. The Service should give both employers and individuals better information about the benefits arising from different types of apprenticeship, as well as about the quality of the many training providers. The Service should do more to increase the number of employers offering apprenticeships, and to increase the proportion of advanced skill level apprenticeships achieved, moving England closer to the levels delivered in other European countries. Importantly, around one in five apprenticeships lasted for six months or less. The Service accepts concern that apprenticeships lasting for such a short period are of no proper benefit to either individuals or employers. The Service says it is tackling the problem but it needs to do more to guarantee the length and quality of training -especially the off-the-job training apprentices receive

Title Audit Accountability and Government
Author Fidelma White
Publisher Oxford University Press
Release Date 1999
Category Business & Economics
Total Pages 221
ISBN 0198262329
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This text explains the constitutional purpose and significance of audit, and aspects of accountability in the British system of government. It suggests that audit delivers managerial accountability. It explains the basic concepts of accounting and audit, and sets audit in its historical context.

Child Maintenance And Enforcement Commission by Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts

Title Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission
Author Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts
Publisher The Stationery Office
Release Date 2012-05-18
Category Business & Economics
Total Pages 46
ISBN 0215045076
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Around half of all children in the UK from separated families are being brought up in poverty. In 2010-11 the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission collected and transferred £1.1 billion to parents caring for more than 880,000 children. Nevertheless significant, all too familiar and recurring challenges remain: parents are frustrated with the standard of support received from the Commission. Maintenance payments totalling some £3.7 billion are outstanding, but the Commission estimates that only £1 billion of this is collectable; and costs remain high. The Commission also faces further significant challenges in introducing its new child maintenance scheme. In particular, it will need to respond to substantial cost reductions and successfully implement a new system of charging fees to parents who choose to use the Commission's services. The Commission needs to deliver acceptable standards of service at a reasonable cost. The new child maintenance scheme should improve efficiency, but further changes are needed to streamline existing processes. The Commission has to deliver cost reductions of £117 million by 2014-15 and its plans are currently £16 million short of this target. Its cost reduction plans depend in part on a new IT system which is already late. To meet the current timetable critical testing will have to be undertaken in parallel with development work, mirroring poor practices that have contributed to the failure of a number of government IT projects. Each month of delay will increase the Commission's costs by at least £3 million and may delay planned income from fees.

Accountability For Public Money by Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts

Title Accountability for public money
Author Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts
Publisher The Stationery Office
Release Date 2011-04-05
Category Political Science
Total Pages 44
ISBN 0215559029
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This Public Accounts Committee report addresses an issue at the core of the relationship between Parliament and government - accountability for public spending. The Committee is interested in the implications for accountability of two recent developments: the governance reforms which include Ministers chairing departmental boards and greater non-executive involvement in those boards; and the reform and localism proposals which envisage a significant devolution of responsibility for service delivery to a wide range of new bodies, in some cases independent of both central and local government. The reform and localism proposals raised fundamental points about the current model of accountability which the report explores. In practice government has long chosen to discharge accountability through the senior civil servant in each department, the Accounting Officer. Government vests in each Accounting Officer a direct and personal accountability to Parliament for his or her department's stewardship of public funds. While significant sums are spent locally, local taxes account for just 5% of revenue raised and so the overwhelming majority of public spending in the UK is routed through departments and is the responsibility of the departmental Accounting Officer. Parliament vests responsibility in the Public Accounts Committee to hold Accounting Officers accountable on its behalf. Sir Bob Kerslake has been appointed to review how the policy objectives of the reform and localism agenda might be reconciled with the current accountability model based on the Accounting Officer. The Committee sets out its fundamental elements for an effective accountability model.

Cost Reduction In Central Government by Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts

Title Cost reduction in central government
Author Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts
Publisher The Stationery Office
Release Date 2012-04-27
Category Business & Economics
Total Pages 13
ISBN 0215043812
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The National Audit Office report on this topic published as HC 1788, session 2010-12 (ISBN 9780102975376)

Preparations For The London 2012 Olympic And Paralympic Games by Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts

Title Preparations for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
Author Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts
Publisher The Stationery Office
Release Date 2012-03-09
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 49
ISBN 0215042840
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The Olympic Delivery Authority's management of its building programme has been exemplary but, due to significant increases in the cost of venue security, the likelihood of staying within the overall £9.3 billion Public Sector Funding Package is very finely balanced. The Funding Package does not cover the totality of the costs to the public purse of delivering the Games and their legacy, which are already heading for around £11 billion. Operational and financial risks have emerged in areas of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games' responsibility, and LOCOG itself now has almost no contingency left to meet further costs, even though it has done well in its revenue generation. The number of security guards required in and around the venues has more than doubled, and renegotiation of the contract for venue security does not appear to have secured any price advantage. With only 109,000 new people regularly participating in sport against an original target (which the new Government chose not to adopt) of 1 million by March 2013, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has got poor value for money for the £450 million spent through sporting National Governing Bodies. It is unclear what the sporting participation legacy of the Games is intended to be. Responsibility for delivery of all legacy matters is shared across many different parts of Government, and this rings alarm bells about the effective integration of the various legacy plans and about clear accountability to the taxpayer.

Title Treasury minutes on the third to the thirteenth reports from the Committee of Public Accounts session 2010 11
Author Great Britain: H.M. Treasury
Publisher The Stationery Office
Release Date 2011-02-16
Category Political Science
Total Pages 66
ISBN 0101801424
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The reports published as HC 470 (ISBN 9780215555106); HC 440 (9780215555144); HC 471 (9780215555205); HC 439 (9780215555243); HC 538 (9780215555434); HC 424 (9780215555496); HC 553 (9780215555502); HC 503 (9780215555571); HC 573 (9780215555595); HC 610 (9780215555656); HC 594 (9780215555717), session 2010-11

The Big Society by Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Public Administration Select Committee

Title The Big Society
Author Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Public Administration Select Committee
Publisher The Stationery Office
Release Date 2011-12-14
Category Social Science
Total Pages 197
ISBN 0215040007
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This report, which builds on previous reports by PASC, warns that the Big Society project is hampered by the lack of a clear implementation plan, leading to public confusion about the policy agenda, eighteen months into this administration. PASC has yet to see how the government will engage these charities and voluntary groups who wish to do so to deliver public services: the 'little society' rather than big business and 'Tesco' charities. Government must address the barriers such bodies experience in the contracting and commissioning system, which means developing a plan to address roles, tasks, responsibilities and skills in Whitehall departments. PASC concludes there are two major practical steps Government must take. Firstly they must create a single Big Society Minister, who has a cross-cutting brief, to help other Ministers to drive through this agenda once they begin reporting progress against the aims of Open Public Services White Paper, from April 2012. Secondly they need to implement an impact assessment, to be applied to every Government policy, statutory instrument, and new Bill, which answers the simple question: "what substantively will this do to build social capital, people power, and social entrepreneurs?" PASC says early examples in practice like the Work Programme have left service providers such as the charitable sector - who would play a major role in the Big Society - with serious reservations. The danger is that big contractors and the largest charities continue to dominate at the expense of small and local providers. EU contracting rules need to be revised and smaller providers should be consulted on the legislative and bureaucratic barriers. There needs to be a cultural shift in Whitehall departments

Progress Report by Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority

Title Progress Report
Author Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 2004
Category Banks and banking
Total Pages 40
ISBN UIUC:30112044446588
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Title Politics of Public Money Second Edition
Author David A. Good
Publisher University of Toronto Press
Release Date 2014-02-05
Category Political Science
Total Pages 416
ISBN 9781442668126
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Public money is one of the primary currencies of influence for politicians and public servants. It affects the standards by which they undertake the nation’s business and impacts the standard of living of the nation’s citizens. David A. Good’s The Politics of Public Money examines the extent to which the Canadian federal budgetary process is shifting from one based on a bilateral relationship between departmental spenders and central guardians to one based on a more complex, multilateral relationship involving a variety of players. This new edition offers an up-to-date account of the Canadian system, including the creation of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, the government’s response to the global financial crisis, Canada’s Economic Action Plan, strategic and operating reviews, the most recent attempts to reform the Estimates, and much more. An insightful and incisive study of the changing budgetary process, The Politics of Public Money examines the promises and pitfalls of budgetary reform and sheds new light on the role insiders play in influencing government spending.

Increased Resources To Improve Public Services by Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. Committee of Public Accounts

Title Increased Resources to Improve Public Services
Author Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. Committee of Public Accounts
Publisher The Stationery Office
Release Date 2004-10-19
Category
Total Pages 56
ISBN 0215019628
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In July 2002, the Government announced a public expenditure increase of £61 billion over three years, to be targeted at improving key public services. The three largest recipients of the extra funding were the Department for Education and Skills, the Department of Health and the Department for Transport. Following on from a NAO report on this topic (HCP 234, session 2003-04; ISBN 0102927103) published in January 2004, the Committee's report examines how these departments are using their extra resources, focusing on three main issues: the complexity of the service deliver chain, how they can secure further improvements in service quality, and performance monitoring and benchmarking. Conclusions reached include that, complex delivery chains and financing mechanisms need to be simplified, and a direct link established between funding and specific targets for service improvements. As all three departments deliver services indirectly through a network of partners and contractors, they need to ensure delivery partners have sufficient capability and capacity to deliver services effectively. Departments should also share information on their plans to increase delivery capacity more widely among key suppliers.

The Decent Homes Programme by Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts

Title The Decent Homes Programme
Author Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts
Publisher The Stationery Office
Release Date 2010-03-18
Category Social Science
Total Pages 30
ISBN 0215544862
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Under the Decent Homes Programme, over a million homes have been improved since 2001. The living standards of vulnerable households will have been greatly improved by the installation of, for example, 810,000 new kitchens, 610,000 new bathrooms and 1,140,000 new central heating systems. There have also been wider benefits such as more tenant involvement in housing decisions and jobs created in deprived areas. The report welcomes the improvements made and the substantial progress towards the original target of all social housing being of a decent standard by December 2010. However, despite this progress, the target will not be met: 305,000 homes will still be non-decent at that date and the last of these will not be decent until 2018-19. The DCLG needs to do more to ensure that landlords can complete this outstanding work and that properties are not allowed to fall back into disrepair. It also needs to improve its financial control over this Programme. It is still not clear how much the Department itself has actually spent on the Programme, nor whether DCLG has obtained best value from the funds given to Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMOs). The Programme will have cost local authorities and Registered Social Landlords approximately £37 billion by 2010-11. The Department lacks some basic management information on the Programme, and needs to address these deficiencies in order to evaluate the impact properly.