National Audit Office NAO

1 Accountable

- ‘Telling the story’ of the organisation in a fair and balanced way

- Compliance with the relevant reporting requirements, and

- Clear action points to take forward.

2 Transparent

- Frank and honest analysis

- Consideration of the challenges an organisation is facing

- Appropriate use of data, and

- Quantification of risks and performance measures.

3 Accessible

- Highlights key trends in the financial statements

- Concise summaries of key points, and

- Consideration of how the organisation engages with key stakeholders and meets their needs.

4 Understandable

- Plain English to explain difficult concepts

- Infographics and diagrams to communicate

- important messages, and

- Clearly integrated structure to help users navigate it effectively.


The Building Public Trust Awards recognise trust and transparency in corporate reporting. They are sponsored by PwC. 18 awards presented. Established in 2002. The NAO co-sponsors the award for excellence in public sector reporting.


The National Audit Office continues to co-sponsor the ‘Excellence in reporting’ award in the public sector at the Building Public Trust Awards. This award is jointly sponsored with PwC to recognise trust and transparency in corporate reporting. In 2017, this award was won for a second year by Network Rail. The Ministry of Justice and Highways England were highly commended for their reports.

The Building Public Trust Awards extend beyond the public sector and include categories covering both the private sector and charities. Although such organisations prepare their annual reports for different stakeholders, much of the content is the same and there are valuable lessons to be learned from looking at how other sectors prepare their annual reports.

We have reviewed annual reports shortlisted for other categories at the Building Public Trust Awards and have included examples of good practice from other sectors in this guide, in addition to examples fromthe public sector. These demonstrate how public sector organisationsmight do things differently and continue to innovate to improve their own annual reports.

The items above were selected and named by the e-Government Subgroup of the EUROSAI IT Working Group on the basis of publicly available report of the author Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI). In the same way, the Subgroup prepared the analytical assumptions and headings. All readers are encouraged to consult the original texts by the author SAIs (linked).