The NAO said the consultants hired had a financial interest in a company
involved in the scheme and blamed the
Communities Department for relying
on assurances from the consultants that the conflict did not exist.
The NAO also said that it intended to conduct a more thorough investigation
of Hips, which were introduced for homes with four bedrooms or more on 1 August.
The report said that the Communities Department fell ‘far short of the
appropriate practice’ in developing and publishing the standards for the
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