By Tony Collins
If the National Audit Office cannot obtain reliable and comprehensive information from the DWP, who can?
The NAO is the department’s auditor. Its head Amyas Morse signs off (or rather qualifies) the DWP’s accounts. His staff also produce regular “value for money” reports on the DWP’s projects and performance.
But an NAO report published today on welfare reform gives more than a hint of the problems its auditors face when trying to verify the information the DWP gives them.
The report “Welfare reform – lessons learned“ says the DWP failed twice to answer the NAO’s questions. Then, when the NAO gave the department its draft report, the DWP provided some information – which the NAO describes as “selective”. It is worth quoting the NAO’s comment in full:
“We have relied largely on our past audit reports to understand the implementation of welfare reform. Past work provides a sufficiently strong and comparable evidence base to identify…
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