Magazine article Public Finance

NAO in a Sweat over £24M Right-to-Roam Cost Hike

Magazine article Public Finance

NAO in a Sweat over £24M Right-to-Roam Cost Hike

Article excerpt

Spiralling costs and inadequate risk assessment have emerged as blots on the newly openedup English landscape.

A National Audit Office examination of the roll-out of the right-to-roam programme found that, although it was implemented two months ahead of schedule, costs almost doubled from an estimated £28m to £52.6m.

The June 9 report criticised the Countryside Agency's failure to run a pilot scheme because of its desire to avoid delays. The agency also failed to properly assess the risks.

Commenting on the report, Public Accounts Committee chair Edward Leigh said: Once again, the costs of a public project have been allowed to gallop away from initial estimates, for no better reason than that there was no time to run a pilot scheme.

'It is high time public bodies stopped leaping into the dark when undertaking projects, knowing that the long-suffering taxpayer will have to pick up the tab. …

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