In its annual report, published today, the NAO states that value for money studies led to identifiable savings of some pounds 165m in 1991. Notable was a pounds 30m a year saving by the Ministry of Defence in the costs of service quarters and the recovery of pounds 12m by the Inland Revenue through revised procedures on small company tax relief. Sir John Bourn, Comptroller and Auditor General and head of the NAO, said the pounds 200m figure brought total savings over the past three years to pounds 500m.
Sir John said that largely as a result of the NAO's investigation of the pounds 4bn spent on NHS supplies each year, a new Supplies Authority had been established which should release large sums of money for patient care.
The NAO has a duty to report to Parliament on the economy and effectiveness of government departments and agencies. With a staff of some 900, its own running costs have risen from pounds 34m in 1990-91 to pounds 39m in 1991-92.Reuse content