Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, said: “The taxpayer needs to have confidence that staff are using [GPCs] appropriately. There is a risk of this confidence, and the reputation of departments, being undermined.”
The report said departments need better management information on and monitoring of GPC usage, but it praised new efforts by the Cabinet Office to create minimum standards across government.
Meanwhile, the NAO has also published a report looking at the points-based immigration system for students used by the UK Border Agency. It found the value for money of the new system cannot yet be measured due to a failure to introduce suitable metrics, and that insufficient action has been taken to deal with those in breach of the rules.
In response, immigration minister Damian Green said: “We have introduced radical reforms to stamp out abuse and restore order. These measures are beginning to bite.”