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Departmental Cost Effectiveness

Volume 502: debated on Thursday 10 December 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what efficiency savings projects (a) his Department and (b) its agencies put in place under the Operational Efficiency Programme; on what date each such project was initiated; how much each such project was expected to contribute to departmental savings; how much had been saved through each such project on the latest date for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. (300934)

BIS has a significant Value for Money Programme (VfM) for CSR07, with a challenging three year set of targets of £732 million (2008-09), £1,113 million (2009-10) and £2,090 million (2010-11).

Most of the savings are due to be delivered by BIS partner organisations and examples include:

the further education sector savings of £29 million for 2008-09 through the modernisation of the further education estate and more efficient procurement.

Research Council savings of £168 million for 2008-09 include a reduction in the proportion of expenditure on administration, increasing the efficiency of Research Council institutes, growing co-funding of research and post graduate training and re-prioritising expenditure.

The target for 2008-09 has been exceeded, and we are forecasting the same for 2009-10. Further details of the VfM programme are contained in the BIS autumn performance report, published on 8 December:

http://www.berr.gov.uk/aboutus/corporate/performance/service-standards/page24986.html.

BIS has a change management programme to drive out the further efficiency savings and improvements in service levels required over the coming years. This programme covers all the strands in the Operational Efficiency, Public Value and Service Transformation Programmes. The focus is on improving workforce planning, sharing common delivery platforms and channels, and making better use of existing infrastructure. This will contribute to the government-wide £9 billion which will be delivered in the next spending period.

I have approached the chief executives of the Department’s agencies and they will response to the hon. Member directly.

Letter from Stephen Speed, dated 9 December 2009:

The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has asked me to reply to your question, what efficiency savings projects (a) his Department and (b) its agencies put in place, under the Operational Efficiency Programme; on what date each such project was initiated; how much each such project was expected to contribute to departmental savings; how much had been saved through each such project on the latest date for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement.

The answer is nil return from The Insolvency Service.

Letter from Sean Dennehey, dated 27 November 2009:

I am responding in respect of the Intellectual Property Office to your Parliamentary Question tabled 18 November 2009, to the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The Intellectual Property Office is a Trading Fund and as such any savings it makes do not contribute to the Department’s budgets. Accordingly, no formal projects under the Operational Efficiency Programme have been launched. The Office is, however, continually looking to improve its efficiency and has just launched two Value for Money Reviews which will identify further savings.

Letter from Sarah Glasspool, dated 30 November 2009:

I am responding in respect of the National Measurement Office to your Parliamentary Question tabled 18 November 2009, to the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The National Measurement Office has not been asked to put in place any project under the Operational Efficiency Programme due to the small size of the Agency.

The Agency has however made a number of efficiency savings for the Department in recent years, not least as a result of the transfer of the National Measurement Unit to the Agency on the 1 April 2009. The transfer increased the staff of the Agency, but resulted in the reduction in back office posts overall. It also enabled other Agency back office resources and accommodation to be used for a larger range of services.

Letter from Gareth Jones, dated 9 December 2009:

I am replying on behalf of Companies House to your Parliamentary Question tabled 18 November 2009, UIN 300934, to the Minister of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

As a trading fund Companies House activities are funded from the fees parliament sets for its services and is not directly part of the CSR funding process. Companies House is committed to improving efficiency and has had a public target for efficiency improvement for many years. Our current target is to achieve a 15% reduction in operating costs per company from 2008/9 to 2010/11. In 2008/9 we achieved an 8.4% reduction through a range of activities including increasing the channel shift from paper transactions to electronic, increasing process efficiency, better procurement and cost control.