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Departmental Public Expenditure

Volume 498: debated on Monday 2 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps his Department is taking to implement the efficiency recommendations of the Operational Efficiency Programme relating to his Department; and what training is available to (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department in respect of the delivery of value for money savings. (296005)

The Ministry of Justice has active programmes on all of the OEP areas, though these are at different levels of development. Many of these initiatives aim to realise economies of scale from the functions the MOJ inherited on its creation. For example:

We are now in the final stages of bringing the three main ICT organisations together to form a single ICT function.

The MOJ has agreed an estates strategy to rationalise the estate it inherited on its creation and deliver significant financial, sustainability and effectiveness gains.

A detailed strategy for the MOJ procurement function called Procurement Success has been developed and signed off by our Corporate Management Board.

A new programme of activity designed to achieve the MOJ wide shared service vision for finance and human resources transactional services is currently under consideration.

The Department is also participating in HM Treasury led back office benchmarking exercises and engaging with Government heads of profession in implementing other recommendations.

Value for money features in several of the Department’s internal financial training guides for Ministers and staff alike. “Money for Ministers”—An Introduction to Finance in the Ministry of Justice for Ministers—for example, is aimed at helping Ministers through the finance framework MOJ operates to achieve value for money, staying within the fiscal rules, and efficient, effective service delivery, and it offers contacts for further help and/or one-to-one tuition.

For staff, a monthly programme of workshops “Improving Financial Management in MOJ” has a specific section on looking at value for money and how to achieve it. Staff are able to get access to an e-learning module on the Department’s intranet and developed by the National School for Government called “Finance Skills For All” which covers topics such as why value for money is a better measure in the public sector then profitability. More generally, the Department has embarked on a programme of bottom up change (LEAN), supported by training, aimed at reducing or eliminating waste within a business system or process of an organisation, so that staff can use their time efficiently, concentrating on the work that adds value to their business.