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Northern Ireland Office: Efficiency

Volume 712: debated on Monday 6 July 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 19 May (WA 301) concerning 170 efficiency initiatives identified by the Northern Ireland Office, why, if the initiatives have been identified, they could be listed in a parliamentary Written Answer only at a disproportionate cost. [HL3998]

The department delivered £103.6 million of efficiencies against a target of £90 million and was permitted by HM Treasury to carry over £11 million of this over-achievement to its current value for money programme. A list of the 136 initiatives that delivered these savings has been placed in the Library.

The original 170 efficiency initiatives were identified as part of the planning process for the 2004 Spending Review (SR04) which took place in late 2003. Over time, as the SR04 period progressed, these initiatives were modified as plans were firmed up and new information became available. As a result, the final number of efficiency initiatives at the end of the SR04 period totalled 136. To track through these changes and reconcile the original and final lists of initiatives would involve a manual trawl and investigation of electronic and paper files. This exercise would cost in excess of the £750 disproportionate cost threshold.