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Departmental Cost Effectiveness

Volume 505: debated on Wednesday 3 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what efficiency savings projects (a) her 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 she will make a statement. (300944)

The Department has been making substantial efficiencies in its back-office operations throughout the last two Spending Review periods, and was used as an exemplar in the Budget 2009 Operational Efficiency programme (OEP) report. Hence, many of the recommendations of the report were already underway in DWP prior to the report's publication.

Within the Department's “business as usual” operating model are the following activities, all sanctioned by OEP:

All new procurement is conducted collaboratively;

Driving value for money in all new IT contracts, under our future contracting strategy;

Proactively managing internal demand for IT resources;

Benchmarking of property and IT resources; and

Centralisation of back-office functions—with major savings through our shared services organisation, but smaller achievements also demonstrated in other corporate functions.

The Department will continue to report on its efficiency and value for money achievements in its departmental report and other publications. For example, we reported in our 2009 autumn performance report that we had delivered £581 million of efficiency savings during 2008-09 alone.