NAO Report on Progress of the National Cyber Security Programme

The National Audit Office has released a report detailing the progress to date of the 2016-2021 National Cyber Security Programme.

The National Audit Office (NAO) report looks to answer the question: “Is the Cabinet Office effectively coordinating the 2016–2021 National Cyber Security Programme (NCSP)?” This includes understanding how the Programme contributes to the delivery of the Strategy’s overarching strategic outcomes. It explores how the Cabinet Office manages the programme, documents its delivery thus far and assesses what will be the focus of the remaining funding and time.

The report concludes that in refreshing its National Cyber Security Strategy in 2016 the government has shown an important commitment to improving cyber security. This approach is described as vital in ensuring that increasing threats do not undermine the UK’s ambition of building a world leading digital economy. So far, the £1.3billion in funding has seen considerable success in achieving the strategy’s strategic goals, most notably in the establishment of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

However, the NAO report argues that despite recent improvements in the NCSP’s management, it had been established with inadequate baselines for allocating resources and for measuring progress effectively. The NAO report therefore concludes that with two years of the Programme remaining it is currently hard to say whether it will provide value for money. Ultimately, the Department can best demonstrate value for money if the Programme’s objectives are delivered by the end of the current strategy.

The NAO report has been published at an opportune time, as the Cabinet Office is currently developing plans for government’s overall approach to cyber security once the current strategy ends in 2021.  Crucial to its recommendations is the call for Cabinet Office to ensure that there is adequate planning for what activity government might undertake after the existing Programme ends.

techUK will be engaging with Cabinet Office over the next year to ensure that the views of the cyber security sector are at the forefront of government’s thinking when formulating post 2021 plans.  To get involved in this work, please contact us using the details below. 

To access the full report, click here

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