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Departmental Savings

Volume 173: debated on Tuesday 5 June 1990

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To ask the Prime Minister what were the value-for-money savings in operations identified by internal audit and internal efficiency arrangements, by external audit and by management consultants retained by her office between 1983–84 and 1988–89; and what was the amount of those savings fulfilled to date.

The information for my office is not held separately, but is contained in the overall figure for the office of the Minister for the Civil Service. The identification of value-for-money targets is an integral part of the annual OMCS planning and budgeting exercise even though those targets have not always been expressed in purely financial terms. Value-for-money improvements including purchasing savings, of £3·015 million have been achieved between 1985–86 and 1988–89, although it is not possible to identify the separate contributions made by each of the means of study mentioned.

To ask the Prime Minister what mechanisms exist in (a) her office and (b) the Cabinet Office for identifying and tracking value-for-money savings in their operations.

The search for year-on-year efficiency gains is an integral part of the planning and budgeting system in both my office and the Cabinet Office. The system also allows for regular monitoring of progress towards targets, and their achievements.