To ask the Attorney-General what were the value-for-money savings in the Law Officers' 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.
In the Treasury Solicitor's Department and the legal secretariat to the Law Officers the improvements resulting from inquiries and studies of the kind the hon. Gentleman mentions are taken into account in the setting of annual budgets and internal targets.
The Crown prosecution service was not created until 1986–87 and up to 1988–89 audit and consultants were mainly concerned with the setting up of effective systems for the service. Value-for-money savings identified and achieved on total running cost expenditure of £90 million in 1988–89 were small, but included purchasing savings estimated at £210,000.
The Serious Fraud Office became fully operational only in April 1988, and no such savings had been specifically identified during the period ending 31 March 1989.
To ask the Attorney-General what mechanisms exist in the Law Officers' Departments for identifying and tracking value-for-money savings in their operations.
In the Treasury Solicitor's Department and the legal secretariat to the Law Officers the mechanisms for identifying and tracking value-for-money savings include internal audit and staff inspection. In the Crown prosecution service they include internal audit, staff inspection, a system of performance indicators, returns from operational areas to HQ for public expenditure survey and estimates purposes, investment appraisal of information technology and capital projects, purchasing information systems, and monitoring by a new field directorate.The Serious Fraud Office became fully operational only in April 1988, and work is still in progress to develop performance indicators and other work measurement procedures to assist in identifying and achieving value-for-money savings.