Too early to review Priority School Building Programme, DfE told national auditor

Janet Downs's picture

No evidence of monitoring for eight PSBP projects, NAO found

The Department for Education (DfE) told the National Audit Office (NAO) it was ‘too early to conduct a review’ of the DfE’s Priority School Building Programme (PSBP).

PSBP has been used by the DfE to fund new school buildings since 2011/12 after Building Schools for the Future was cancelled. 

DfE changed way of PSBP reporting five times

Since then, the DfE has ‘changed the way it reported on the Priority School Building Programme five times between 2012 and 2017 as it disaggregated or merged parts of the programme,’ NAO reported.

In 2011/12, PSBP was one programme.  In the second quarter of 2014/15, it was divided into two: PSBP Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and PSBP Capital.  In the following quarter, a new scheme, PSBP 2 was added.

In 2016/17, PSBP 1 & 2 were merged then separated the following year.   Reporting of PSBP 1 continued until March 2018; PSBP PFI and PSBP 2 are still ongoing.

The NAO found there was ‘no evidence of either monitoring or review’ for eight PSBP projects.  These included three projects which were cancelled.

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John Mountford's picture
Sat, 20/10/2018 - 14:32

The DfE is absolutely full of S...  However, it has mastered the art of subterfuge the likes of which we have never witnessed before. If things keep being changed, how can those charged with validating the effectiveness of any policy or initiative ever hope to hold organisations or individuals to account. In this  instance, the DfE (Department for Extravagance) is clearly applying common sense in cghastising the NAO for its over-vealous approach in crticising the policy in question. The tragedy is that this kind of smoke and mirrors is allowed to pass the scrutiny of the media and the public. We need a more effective education system, if only to equip citizens with the necessary understanding to identify and quantify government excesses and the determination to make sure that liars and cheats, currently present in huge numbers in our presenty government, do not prosper from their dirty dealings.

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