asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) in how many programme analysis and review studies the Treasury has been involved since March 1974;(2) how many programme analysis and review studies there have been since March 1974; and whether any of them will be published.
The Treasury as a central Department is involved in all programme analysis and review studies. The position on information about the use of this technique and publication of the results was made clear in the Government's reply to the Tenth Report of the Expenditure Committee, Session 1975–76 (Cmnd. 6678) published on 24th November 1976. Programme analysis and review studies are internal to the Government and the reports are part of the confidential advice given by officials to Ministers. For this reason it has been the policy of successive Governments not to disclose or identify them publicly. As the Prime Minister said in the debate on the Queen's Speech on the same date, when the Government make major policy studies it will be their policy to publish as much as possible of the factual and analytical material which is used as the background to these studies. This will include material used in the programme analysis and review studies unless the Government judge that there are good reasons to the contrary.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many Treasury officials are engaged in full-time programme analysis and review work;(2) what the full-time equivalent is of the part-time work done by officials on programme analysis and review;(3) how many officials are engaged full-time in programme analysis and review.
No Treasury officials are engaged in continuing full-time work on programme analysis and review. The management of the programme analysis and review system is among the wider responsibilities of a number of officials in the Treasury, Civil Service Department and the Central Policy Review Staff, in co-operation with officials in other Departments. The conduct of particular studies may be the full-time task of some staff for a limited period. I regret that the cost of collecting information on the full-time equivalent of work on this type of study would not be justified.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he anticipates making further use of the programme analysis and review system in order to effect economies in public expenditure;(2) which Minister is responsible for the programme analysis and review system;(3) whether he will make a statement on the progress of the programme analysis and review system;(4) whether he is satisfied with the programme analysis and review system;(5) whether he intends to make greater use of the programme analysis and review system.
I am the responsible Minister.It is the Government's aim that the justification for, and effectiveness of, public expenditure programmes should continue to be subject to constant and critical scrutiny. The programme analysis and review system remains a useful, though not the exclusive, tool for this kind of scrutiny. There is a wide range of policy issues under consideration, or proposed for review, at any time. The Government periodically take stock of these, and consider what subjects should be pursued and which method of review is most appropriate. The question whether to apply the programme analysis and review system or some other method of review is decided in the circumstances of each case.