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Departmental Savings

Volume 173: debated on Wednesday 6 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry 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.

[holding answer 5 June 1990]: In my answer to another question from the hon. Member today, I described the mechanisms for identifying and tracking value-for-money savings within my Department. These mechanisms have been refined over the period referred to in the question. Prior to 1988–89, follow-up was specific to each of the mechanisms. Since 1988–89 the Department has been committed to achieving efficiency savings averaging at least 1·5 per cent. of departmental running costs each year over three years from these and other sources. In 1989–90 it is estimated that the Department achieved savings on running costs from all sources of 3·2 per cent. Savings aggregated centrally are not attributed to specific mechanisms: the figures requested cannot therefore be given.

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

[holding answer 5 June 1990]: The Department has a variety of efficiency review mechanisms such as efficiency scrutinies, staff inspection and internal audit. These include arrangements for follow-up action where they identify efficiency savings. In addition, the Department conducts an annual review of activity and resource management which takes into account in the allocation of resources the outcome of these reviews and other efficiency savings identified.