Public sector savings target of £15 billion confirmed

21 April 2009

22 April 2009 | Martha McKenzie-Minifie

The final report of the UK government's year-long Operational Efficiency Programme, released yesterday, has confirmed that the public sector efficiency savings target will be £15 billion.

The Treasury described it as "an ambitious series of recommendations" from the five senior external advisers.

It was expected that about £6 billion of the total savings would be delivered as part of plans in the current spending review.

The remaining £9 billion would be delivered by 2014, after procurement contracts are renegotiated and back office functions merged.

In the area of collaborative procurement, led by Martin Jay, it was found that £6.1 billion of savings a year were possible through harnessing the public sector's collective buying power.

Dr Martin Read examined back office and IT and reported that £4 billion of savings a year could be found in back office operations and £3.2 billion on IT spending. Among steps to make the savings were a push for better management information, benchmarking and review of costs and better governance of IT-enabled change programmes.

More details of the programme's recommendations will be in the 30 April 2009 edition of SM.

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