Case study: Government Internal Audit Agency's technology gets to the point

Government Internal Audit Agency

May 26
11:15 2023


The sharing of knowledge and best practice across government has the potential to significantly improve the management of public resources. A barrier to achieving this is collating, summarising and extracting this information.Government Internal Audit Agencys (GIAA) audit function covers 15 departments and over 120 arms length bodies (ALBs), with thousands of government documents that exist between them it would take a large team a huge amount of time to read them, understand and categorise them.

The knowledge asset solution

GIAA has developed a tool called the Insights Engine which uses a branch of artificial intelligence, called natural language processing, to allow a person to read hundreds of documents at speed by summarising, collating, and analysing content. They have been using the technology to analyse Annual Opinion reports, which enabled one person to review 102 reports in the same time it previously took a small team to manually analyse 13 reports. GIAA received funds from The Government Office for Technology Transfer (GOTT) to develop the Insights Engine even further, so that it can analyse a wider range of government documents and identify cross-government trends. With the developments, the Insights Engine is able to:

  • Identify key themes from network analysis of the documents
  • Extract the most relevant paragraphs of text for a given topic
  • Produce interactive reports which summarise the findings

Who will this help?

  • Government colleagues: being able to quickly read and process hundreds of documents means insights buried in the reports and data can be extracted quickly and trends can be spotted. Understanding the trends will enable opportunities for cross-government collaboration and learning to be identified.
  • The taxpayer: as a result of sharing best practice across government there is potential for improved public services.

Funding awarded

GIAA were awarded 24,793 from GOTT to develop the Insights Engine with extended capabilities for exploitation beyond GIAA.


The GIAA Insights Engine has now been adopted by other government departments so they too can reap the benefits from this knowledge asset. For example HM Treasury and His Majestys Inspectorate of Constabulary Fire and Rescue Services are exploring how they can use the tool to improve their insight and reduce their workloads.

Quote from GIAA

Dr Iain McGregor, Director of Innovation and Development at GIAA said:

Getting the grant from GOTT has enabled us to develop the text network analysis which allows for more refined use of the Insights Engine. We have since continued to develop it ourselves, to incorporate more features for users, but GOTTs funding has helped us in the journey to expand it across government. Additionally, our dedicated point of contact at GOTT has given us helpful suggestions and helped refine our approach.

Next steps

GIAA are continuing to develop and promote the use of the Insights Engine across government, to enable better use of knowledge and greater efficiency in the use of public money.

Published 26 May 2023

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