To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what mechanisms exist in his Department for identifying and tracking value-for-money savings in its operations.
My Department has a range of consultancy, inspection and review mechanisms designed to improve financial and management performance. These include internal audit and staff inspection, and an extensive range of targets and performance measures. In addition, it conducts efficiency scrutinies as part of a programme co-ordinated by the efficiency unit, and has a policy of market testing to achieve operational savings.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what were the value-for-money savings in his Department's operations identified by internal audit and internal efficiency arrangements, 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.
Improvements resulting from audits, inspections and reviews are taken into account in the setting of annual budgets and performance targets. My Department estimates that it has achieved efficiency savings averaging in excess of 1·5 per cent. a year since 1984–85. The contribution of each of the review mechanisms to this overall saving is not separately recorded.