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Departmental Savings

Volume 173: debated on Tuesday 5 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what mechanisms exist in his Department for indentifying and tracking value-for-money savings in its operations.

The mechanisms are:

Annual plans and reports prepared by heads of division on their objectives, activities, use of resources and intended value for money improvements over the next public expenditure survey period;
A management plan for efficiency gains in administrative expenditure covering the same period;
An administrative budgeting scheme under which budgets for the financial year ahead for staff and associated costs are delegated to senior line managers;
Annual targets for and savings made in purchasing and stockholdings; and
Annual programmes of work to be carried out by the Department's internal consultancy, inspection and review services.
All these mechanisms are subject to approval by and carried through under the general direction of the Permanent Under-Secretary and his immediate colleagues.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what were the value-for-money savings in his Department's operations identified by internal audit and internal efficiency arrangements and by external audit and by management consultants retained by his Department between 1983–84 and 1988–89; and what is the amount of those savings fulfilled to date.

Over the period 1985–86 to 1988–89, my Department secured value-for-money savings in its operations totalling some £9·4 million. Savings in office space, from keen purchasing of goods and services, from staff inspections and from other internal efficiency measures all contributed to the total.The value of savings secured in 1983–84 and 1984–85 is not readily available. The systems now in place to target as well as deliver these savings were introduced at various times over the period, so no useful comparison with savings identified by these systems can be given.