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Efficiency Savings

Volume 407: debated on Thursday 19 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the target is for efficiency savings in 2003–04 expressed (a) in money terms and (b) as a percentage of the Department's expenditure limit. [114112]

Within the Northern Ireland Office the efficiency target, built into last year's Spending Review outcome, requires the Department to continue to secure 2.5 per cent. efficiency savings annually in our core departmental administration costs. These core costs of £57.6 million represent 34 per cent. of the department's total administration cost limit.Within the 11 Departments of the Northern Ireland Administration the 2003–04 spending plans do not contain specific efficiency savings targets expressed in money terms or as a percentage of departmental expenditure limits. However, the drive to achieve greater efficiency is evidenced by the ongoing development and refinement of Public Service Agreements and Service Delivery Agreements. In addition, the key aim of the reform agenda and Departmental Reform Plans is to improve performance in terms of delivering better quality services to the public.All spending programmes and projects also remain subject to the completion of satisfactory scrutiny and analysis in respect of their value for money.