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.