National Audit Office (United Kingdom)
The National Audit Office is an independent Parliamentary body in the United Kingdom, responsible for auditing central government departments, government agencies and non-departmental public bodies. The NAO carries out value for money audits into the administration of public policy; the NAO is the auditor of bodies funded directly by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The NAO reports to the Comptroller and Auditor General, an officer of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and in turn reports to the Public Accounts Committee, a select committee of the House of Commons; the reports produced by the NAO are reviewed in some cases investigated further. The NAO has two main streams of work: Financial Audits and Value For Money audits; the NAO’s financial audits give assurance over three aspects of government expenditure: the truth and fairness of financial statements. Financial audits are carried out in much the same way as private auditing bodies and the NAO voluntarily applies the International Standards of Auditing.
The NAO is subject to inspection by the Audit Quality Review team of the Financial Reporting Council. Value for Money audits are non-financial audits to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of government spending. Sixty of these reports are produced each year, the most notable from recent years being the reports on MRSA, which led to an increase in public interest in the topic, the report on the rescue of British Energy and the report in the Public Private Partnership to maintain the London Underground; the remits of the NAO and the Public Accounts Committee do not allow them to question the policy itself and so VFM reports only examine the implementation of policy. The responsibility for questioning policy is left for other select committees and debating chambers of Parliament, but this has not prevented the PAC being named committee of the year in 2006. "Good Governance", an output somewhere between financial and VFM audits, was a strand of NAO work, but is no longer a focus of activity.
The NAO does, publish best practice guidance for public sector organisations. An example includes the fact sheet on governance statements. In addition, the NAO undertakes fast-paced and more narrowly focused work called investigations; the NAO received new powers under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 to provide an end-to-end view of policy implementation, produce reports aimed at the local government sector. The Comptroller Function is administered by the small, but important, Exchequer Section within the NAO, its work centres on recording all transactions to and from the Consolidated and National Loans funds. Money cannot be paid from either of these without the C&AG's prior approval; this approval is granted every banking day through a mechanism known as'the credit'. The Exchequer Section is responsible for agreeing payments from the Consolidated Fund directly to certain bodies, including the Queen, judicial salaries, MEPs salaries and the European Commission; the NAO produces a number of briefings for select committees, but its key audience is the Public Accounts Committee.
It has a strong relationship with the Public Accounts Commission that oversees the work of the NAO and approves its budgets. The NAO and Public Accounts Committee form the key links of the Public Audit Circle which has the following sequence: The NAO performs financial and VFM audits and makes its reports public The PAC has hearings based on NAO reports wherein failures in meeting regularity or propriety requirements are apparent; the PAC provides a report with recommendations based on PAC hearings. The Government responds to the PAC report in a Treasury Minute; the NAO publishes a reply to the minute and there may be an NAO/PAC follow-up study. The Public Accounts Commission annually approves budgets, it receives value for money reports on the operation of the NAO. These are written by private sector audit firms in much the same manner as the NAO reports on Central Government; the National Audit Office is a member of the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions. The NAO shares knowledge and experience with other Supreme Audit Institutions around the world and undertakes the audit of some international bodies.
For example, between 2010–2016 the C&AG was one of three members of the United Nations Board of Auditors, responsible for auditing the United Nations itself, including peacekeeping operations and related organisations such as UNICEF and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. The earliest known mention of a public official responsible for auditing government expenditure is a reference made in 1314 to the Auditor of the Exchequer. In 1559 an office was set up, with responsibility for auditing Exchequer payments, called the Auditors of the Imprest. In 1785 a Commission for Auditing the Public Accounts was established by statute, its members, the Commissioners of Audit, were five in number. The Commissioners worked with the Comptroller of the Exchequer following the establishment of that office in 1834. Under the terms of the Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1866, the offices of the Comptroller of the Exchequer and the Commissioners of Audit were merged and their duties vested in a new official: the Comptroller and Auditor General (formally the Comptroller General of the Receipt and Issue of Her Majesty's Exchequer an
Legislatures of the United Kingdom
The Legislatures of the United Kingdom are derived from a number of different sources from both within the UK and through membership of the European Union. The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body for the United Kingdom and the British overseas territories with Scotland and Northern Ireland each having their own devolved legislatures; each of the three major jurisdictions of the United Kingdom has legal system. The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body for the United Kingdom and for English Law, it alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and its territories. Its head is the Sovereign of the United Kingdom and its seat is the Palace of Westminster in Westminster, London; the United Kingdom Legislation may take the form of Acts or Statutory Instruments, made under the authority of an Act of Parliament by either a government minister or by the Queen-in-Council.
The latter are subject either to parliamentary approval or parliamentary disallowance. The majority of Acts considered in the UK are defined as public general acts, or'Acts of Parliament' as they will have progressed and gained approval as a Bill through both House of Commons and House of Lords, have gained Royal Assent from the Monarch. Local and Personal Acts of Parliament are presented to Parliament as a result of sponsored petitions. These, are processed through committees to enable relevant or affected parties to challenge or change the proposed Act. Prerogative instruments, made by the Sovereign under the royal prerogative are another source of UK-wide legislation.. The UK Parliament is responsible for all matters relating to defence and all foreign affairs and relations with international organisations the United Nations, the Commonwealth and the European Union. With there being no devolved legislature in England the UK Parliament is the supreme body for its governance, public bodies and local government.
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and is an elected chamber consisting of 650 members known as Members of Parliament which are elected using First past the post in single-member constituencies with 533 elected from England, 59 from Scotland, 40 from Wales and 18 from Northern Ireland. The House of Commons is now considered to be the supreme chamber of Parliament; the House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom however it is an unelected chamber with all members to the House of Lords being appointed. As of August 2018, there are 793 members known as "Peers"; the House of Lords no longer has the same powers as the House of Commons under the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949 when it comes to blocking general legislation and the passing of financial legislation. The Scottish Parliament is the national, unicameral legislature of Scotland, located in the Holyrood area of the capital, Edinburgh; the Parliament, informally referred to as "Holyrood", is a democratically elected body comprising 129 members known as Members of the Scottish Parliament.
Of these 73 MSPs are elected using First past the post in single member constituencies and a further 56 MSPs are elected using the D'Hondt method, a form of party-list proportional representation in eight additional member regions with each region electing 7 MSPs. The Scottish Parliament was convened by the Scotland Act 1998, which sets out its powers as a devolved legislature; the Act delineates the legislative competence of the Parliament – the areas in which it can make laws – by explicitly specifying powers that are "reserved" to the Parliament of the United Kingdom: all matters that are not explicitly reserved are automatically the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament. The British Parliament retains the ability to amend the terms of reference of the Scottish Parliament, can extend or reduce the areas in which it can make laws; the first meeting of the new Parliament took place on 12 May 1999. The Scottish Statutory Instruments made by the Scottish Government are another source of legislation.
As with Statutory Instruments made by the British government, these are subject to either approval or disallowance by the Scottish Parliament The National Assembly for Wales has the power to make legislation in Wales. The Assembly was created by the Government of Wales Act 1998, which followed a referendum in 1997, it is a democratically elected body with 60 members known as Assembly Members. Of these 40 AMs are elected using First past the post in single member constituencies and a further 20 MSPs are elected using the D'Hondt method, a form of party-list proportional representation in five additional member regions with each region electing 4 AMs; the Assembly had no powers to initiate primary legislation until limited law-making powers were gained through the Government of Wales Act 2006. Its primary law-making powers were enhanced following a Yes vote in the referendum on 3 March 2011, making it possible for it to legislate in the 20 areas that are devolved without having to consult the UK Parliament, nor the Secretary of State for Wales.
The Assembly may delegate authority to enact legislation through Welsh Statutory Instruments. Under the Wales Act 2017 the Assembly came into line with Scotland and Northern Ireland and moved to a resevered powers model, it is expected that the National Assembly for Wales will be renamed the "We
The term rolling stock in rail transport industry refers to any vehicles that move on a railway. It includes both powered and unpowered vehicles, for example locomotives, railroad cars and wagons. In the US, the definition has been expanded to include the wheeled vehicles used by businesses on roadways. Note that stock in the term is business related and used in a sense of inventory. Rolling stock is considered to be a liquid asset, or close to it, since the value of the vehicle can be estimated and shipped to the buyer without much cost or delay; the term contrasts with fixed stock, a collective term for the track, stations, other buildings, electric wires, etc. necessary to operate a railway. In Great Britain, types of rolling stock were given code names of animals. For example, "Toad" was used as a code name for the Great Western Railway goods brake van, while British Railways wagons used for track maintenance were named after fish, such as "Dogfish" for a ballast hopper; these codes were telegraphese, somewhat analogous to the SMS language of today.
List of railway vehicles Great Western Railway telegraphic codes Great Western Railway wagons Media related to rail vehicles at Wikimedia Commons The dictionary definition of rolling stock at Wiktionary
Franchising is based on a marketing concept which can be adopted by an organization as a strategy for business expansion. Where implemented, a franchisor licenses its know-how, intellectual property, use of its business model and rights to sell its branded products and services to a franchisee. In return the franchisee pays certain fees and agrees to comply with certain obligations set out in a Franchise Agreement; the word "franchise" is of Anglo-French derivation—from franc, meaning free—and is used both as a noun and as a verb. For the franchisor, use of a franchise system is an alternative business growth strategy, compared to expansion through corporate owned outlets or "chain stores". Adopting a franchise system business growth strategy for the sale and distribution of goods and services minimizes the franchisor's capital investment and liability risk. Franchising is not an equal partnership due to the preponderance of the franchisor over the franchisee, but under specific circumstances like transparency, favourable legal conditions, financial means and proper market research, franchising can be a vehicle of success for both franchisor and franchisee.
Thirty-six countries have laws that explicitly regulate franchising, with the majority of all other countries having laws which have a direct or indirect effect on franchising. Franchising is used as a foreign market entry mode; the boom in franchising did not take place until after World War II. The rudiments of modern franchising date back to the Middle Ages when landowners made franchise-like agreements with tax collectors, who retained a percentage of the money they collected and turned the rest over; the practice spread to other endeavors. For example, in 17th century England franchisees were granted the right to sponsor markets and fairs or operate ferries. There was little growth in franchising, until the mid-19th century, when it appeared in the United States for the first time. One of the first successful American franchising operations was started by an enterprising druggist named John S. Pemberton. In 1886, he concocted a beverage comprising sugar, molasses and cocaine. Pemberton licensed selected people to bottle and sell the drink, an early version of what is now known as Coca-Cola.
His was one of the earliest—and most successful—franchising operations in the United States. The Singer Company implemented a franchising plan in the 1850s to distribute its sewing machines; the operation failed, because the company did not earn much money though the machines sold well. The dealers, who had exclusive rights to their territories, absorbed most of the profits because of deep discounts; some failed to push Singer products, so competitors were able to outsell the company. Under the existing contract, Singer could neither withdraw rights granted to franchisees nor send in its own salaried representatives. So, the company started repurchasing the rights; the experiment proved to be a failure. That may have been one of the first times a franchisor failed. Still, the Singer venture did not put an end to franchising. Other companies tried franchising in another after the Singer experience. For example, several decades General Motors Corporation established a somewhat successful franchising operation in order to raise capital.
The father of modern franchising, though, is Louis K. Liggett. In 1902, Liggett invited a group of druggists to join a "drug cooperative." As he explained to them, they could increase profits by paying less for their purchases if they set up their own manufacturing company. His idea was to market private label products. About 40 druggists pooled $4,000 of their own money and adopted the name "Rexall". Sales soared, Rexall became a franchisor; the chain's success set a pattern for other franchisors to follow. Although many business owners did affiliate with cooperative ventures of one type or another, there was little growth in franchising until the early 20th century, in whatever form franchising existed, it looked nothing like what it is today; as the United States shifted from an agricultural to an industrial economy, manufacturers licensed individuals to sell automobiles, gasoline, a variety of other products. The franchisees did little more than selling the products, though; the sharing of responsibility associated with contemporary franchising arrangement did not exist to a great extent.
Franchising was not a growth industry in the United States. It was not until the 1960s and 1970s that people began to take a close look at the attractiveness of franchising; the concept intrigued people with entrepreneurial spirit. However, there were serious pitfalls for investors, which ended the practice before it became popular; the following U. S. listing tabulates the early 2010 ranking of major franchises along with the number of sub-franchisees from data available for 2004. The United States is a leader in franchising, a position it has held since the 1930s when it used the approach for fast-food restaurants, food inns and later, motels at the time of the Great Depression; as of 2005, there were 909,253 established franchised businesses, generating $880.9 billion of output and accounting for 8.1 percent of all private, non-farm jobs. This amounts to 11 million jobs, 4.4 percent of all private sector output. 1. Subway | startup costs $84,300 – $258,300. 2. McDonald's | startup costs in 2010, $995,900 – $1,842,700 3.
7-Eleven Inc. (con
A train is a form of transport consisting of a series of connected vehicles that runs along a rail track to transport cargo or passengers. The word "train" comes from the Old French trahiner, derived from the Latin trahere meaning "to pull" or "to draw". Motive power for a train is provided by a separate locomotive or individual motors in a self-propelled multiple unit. Although steam propulsion dominated, the most common types of locomotive are diesel and electric, the latter supplied by overhead wires or additional rails. Trains can be hauled by horses, pulled by engine or water-driven cable or wire winch, run downhill using gravity, or powered by pneumatics, gas turbines or batteries. Train tracks consist of two running rails, sometimes supplemented by additional rails such as electric conducting rails and rack rails. Monorails and maglev guideways are used occasionally. A passenger train includes passenger-carrying vehicles and can be long and fast. One notable and growing long-distance train.
In order to achieve much faster operation at speeds of over 500 km/h, innovative maglev technology has been the subject of research for many years. The term "light rail" is sometimes used to refer to a modern tram system, but it may mean an intermediate form between a tram and a train, similar to a heavy rail rapid transit system. In most countries, the distinction between a tramway and a railway is precise and defined in law. A freight train uses freight cars to transport materials, it is possible to carry passengers and freight in the same train using a mixed consist. Rail cars and machinery that are used for the maintenance and repair of tracks, are termed "maintenance of way" equipment. Dedicated trains may be used to provide support services to stations along a train line, such as garbage or revenue collection. There are various types of train. A train can consist of a combination of one or more locomotives and attached railroad cars, or a self-propelled multiple unit, or a single or articulated powered coach called a railcar.
Special kinds of train running on corresponding purpose-built "railways" are monorails, high-speed railways, atmospheric railways, rubber-tired underground and cog railways. A passenger train consists of several coaches. Alternatively, a train may consist of passenger-carrying coaches, some or all of which are powered. In many parts of the world the Far East and Europe, high-speed rail is used extensively for passenger travel. Freight trains consist of wagons or trucks rather than carriages, though some parcel and mail trains appear outwardly to be more like passenger trains. Trains can have mixed consist, with both passenger accommodation and freight vehicles; these mixed trains are most to be used for services that run infrequently, where the provision of separate passenger and freight trains would not be cost-effective, but the disparate needs of passengers and freight means that this is avoided where possible. Special trains are used for track maintenance. In the United Kingdom, a train hauled using two locomotives is known as a "double-headed" train.
In Canada and the United States, it is quite common for a long freight train to be headed by three or more locomotives. A train with a locomotive attached at both ends is described as "top and tailed", this practice being used when there are no reversing facilities available. Where a second locomotive is attached temporarily to assist a train when ascending steep banks or gradients, this is referred to as "banking" in the UK. Many loaded trains in the US are assembled using one or more locomotives in the middle or at the rear of the train, which are operated remotely from the lead cab; this is referred to as "DP" or "Distributed Power." The railway terminology, used to describe a train varies between countries. In the United Kingdom, the interchangeable terms set and unit are used to refer to a group of permanently or semi-permanently coupled vehicles, such as those of a multiple unit. While when referring to a train made up of a variety of vehicles, or of several sets/units, the term formation is used.
The word rake is used for a group of coaches or wagons. Section 83 of the UK's Railways Act 1993 defines "train" as follows: a) two or more items of rolling stock coupled together, at least one of, a locomotive. In the United States, the term consist is used to describe the group of rail vehicles that make up a train; when referring to motive power, consist refers to the group of locomotives powering the train. The term trainset refers to a group of rolling stock, permanently or semi-permanently coupled together to form a unified set of equipment. There are three types of locomotive: electric and steam; the Atchison and Santa Fe Railway's 1948 operating rules define a train as: "An engine or more than one engine coupled, with or without cars, displaying markers." A bogie is trolley. In mechanics terms, a bogie is a framework carrying wheels, attached to a vehicle, it can be fixed in place, as on a cargo truck, mounted on a swivel, as on a railway carriage or locomotive, o