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Departmental Cost Effectiveness

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 17 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what efficiency savings his Department was required to make as part of its spending review 2004 (SR04) targets; what efficiency projects have been undertaken in the Department in pursuit of those targets; on what date each was initiated; and how much each was predicted to contribute to the SR04 target. (163193)

The Department is jointly committed with the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS), to the efficiency target set originally for the Department for Education and Skills (DFES).

The DFES target is 2.5 per cent. a year over the spending review 2004 period. This means being able to demonstrate cumulative gains against our baseline of £1.45 billion in 2005-06, £2.9 billion in 2006-07 and £4.35 billion in 2007-08.

Details of the specific initiatives which contribute to our Gershon efficiency target are set out in our Efficiency Technical Note, which is available on the Department’s website:

www.dcsf.gov.uk

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families with reference to the answer of 19 July 2007, Official Report, column 531W, on Departments: cost effectiveness, what the target is for efficiency savings to be divided between the two newly created Departments. (163386)

Machinery of Government changes within the Department have resulted in the Department for Education and Skills (DFES) target being split between the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) and the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).

Treasury are keen that there is a shared responsibility for the overall target and that this is agreed formally. Both DCSF and DIUS permanent secretaries have set out their continued commitment to the overall target. However, it is important for governance and accountability purposes that each Department knows which initiatives within the programme it is responsible for. We have calculated an indicative split of the Gershon Targets and progress towards them is outlined in the autumn performance reports for each Department. The Department published its autumn performance reports in December 2007, which are available on our website:

www.dcsf.gov.uk