The National Audit Office has just published “Establishing social enterprises under the Right to Request Programme”, an examination of the government’s right to request programme. The fully report and summary can be downloaded from the NAO website here.
While acknowledging that the live sample of social enterprises spun-out under RtR is small and most by definition are in their early trading stages — 20 new social enterprises have so far been established as a consequence of RtR — the NAO report is critical of the programme for failing to set value for money, savings or other added value measures which would enable the performance of these businesses to be properly evaluated.
The Dept of Health did not explicitly set out the expected benefits of the Right to Request Programme, says the report, because it believed it was contributing to meeting the wider objectives of the Dept’s Transforming Community Services programme.
The NAO is concerned that by not explicitly setting out objectives or contracting for additional benefits, the PCTs are reducing the likelihood that these benefits will be delivered.
SEC’s Peter Holbrook has slammed the NAO’s value-for-money assessment here.