In a recent study of 61 hospitals, it was found that they bought 21 different types of A4 paper, 652 different kinds of surgical gloves and 1751 different cannulas. Police forces could cut the cost of their uniforms by over 30 per cent if they all bought the same one. But they disagree on how many pockets they need. Having committed to buy two new aircraft carriers, the MOD realised it didn't have the funds to buy them. The delayed delivery cost an additional 1.6 billion.
We've spent 500 million
on an abandoned project to centralise 999 calls, 3.5 billion
on privatising the Work Programme, 700 million
on implementing Universal Credit (used by 18,000 people), 20 billion
on medical negligence claims, 70 billion
(and counting) dealing with nuclear waste at Sellafield, and countless millions on IT investments in the BBC, the Home Office, the NHS . . .
Waste is everywhere.
Fighting against this waste is the Public Accounts Committee, which oversees some 700 billion of public spending every year. As its chair from 2010-15, Margaret Hodge knows the excesses of government bodies better than anyone. Conversational, witty, engaging and packed with anecdotes and insights about the biggest political figures of our time, Called to Account
shines a light on some of the most fascinating - and alarming - issues that face Britain today.
About the Author
Dame Margaret Hodge DBE PC MP is a British Labour politician, who has served as Member of Parliament for Barking since 1994. She was a minister in both the Blair and Brown governments, serving as first Minister for Children and Minister for Culture and the Creative Industries.
The only figure in public life making a robust moral case for the honest payment of tax is Margaret Hodge -- Zoe Williams * Guardian *
She's a bit like a tarantula: you don't want to become intimate with it but you admire its danger and grace -- Anonymous Conservative member of the Public Accounts Committee
She is fearless, feisty, sharp as a tack and at the top of her game -- Lynn Barber * Sunday Times *
A shocking expose of corporate misbehaviour and government waste, it has not had the attention it deserves -- Chris Mullin * Observer *