Baseline for saving is key

2 November 2006
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02 November 2006

The OGC has refused to include external efficiency savings claimed on projects without baseline figures.

Speaking last month at the GovNet expo conference in London, OGC chief executive John Oughton said he had refused savings claims if they had not been measured against a baseline. He added that now only 15 projects remained without baselines.

This follows the National Audit Office (NAO) calling into question the means of calculating savings. It queried how initiatives could claim achievements when many had no figures at the beginning to measure progress against.

The NAO said 180 of the 300 initiatives were without these statistics, and as a result, the £4.7 billion efficiency savings the Treasury had claimed so far as part of the Gershon programme could not be seen as more than "provisional".

Meanwhile, chief secretary to the Treasury Stephen Timms told delegates all government departments would have to continue to make efficiency savings of 2.5 per cent a year following the next comprehensive spending review in 2007.

He said fiscal constraints would be tougher but there would be more of a focus on outcomes instead of targets.

SMnov2006

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