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Financial Management Initiative

Volume 114: debated on Tuesday 7 April 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he will make a statement on the effect on his Department of the financial management initiative.

My Department has implemented a range of measures to improve management and value for money.Budgets for programme expenditure on research and development and industrial support, totalling some £250 million in 1987–88, have been fully devolved to managers in divisions, and line managers have also been given devolved responsibility for elements of administrative expenditure.The Department's management information systems have been developed and refined to assist the top management in its annual review of divisions' objectives, priorities and resources.Targets and output measures are being progressively developed, wherever possible; for example the Department has achieved a target of securing a 50 per cent. contribution by non-Government participants in funding offshore safety R and D; and the Energy Efficiency Office has a target to achieve energy savings of 3 million tonnes of coal equivalent by June 1988 through the energy efficiency demonstration scheme.Initiatives taken in the Department to improve management and efficiency has resulted in important savings; for example, accommodation costs have been reduced by nearly £1 million since 1984–85, and savings amounting to over £0·5 million were secured in the first nine months of 1986–87 on the Department's purchasing of goods and services. Departmental manpower has been reduced by some 20 per cent. since April 1979.