The National Audit Office has supported moves to persuade government departments to take more risks - as long as they are properly managed. It says 'a constructive approach to risk taking can provide services in new ways', but managing risk is important to ensure better service delivery, minimise waste and prevent fraud. A survey for the NAO found 82 per cent of departments thought risk management was important, but few had risk management objectives or policies. Four fifths said they supported innovation, but two fifths admitted their departments were essentially risk averse, citing culture, lack of expertise and fear of failure as the main reasons. The report includes examples of good practice.

Supporting Innovation: managing risk in government departments . www.nao.gov.uk