8 December 2009 | Allie Anderson
The UK Conservative party has poached some of the leading efficiency advisers to the government.
These “efficiency gurus” will form part of a productivity advisory board, which will advise the Tories on finding savings and increasing performance throughout the public sector.
Among the members are four former government advisers. These include Sir Peter Gershon, who led a central government efficiency spending review in 2003, as well as Bernard Gray, who has undertaken two major reviews for the Ministry of Defence (MoD), including October’s damning assessment of procurement capability
They will be joined by Martin Read, who led the Treasury's Operational Efficiency Programme this year
and Lord Peter Levene, previously the MoD’s permanent secretary responsible for procurement and prime minister Gordon Brown’s adviser on efficiency. Also on the board is Colin Barrow, leader of Westminster City Council, and Lucy Neville-Rolfe, a Tesco board director since 2006.
The group will meet monthly to offer advice and challenge the efficiency agenda of Philip Hammond, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury.
“Waste and inefficiency remain endemic after 12 years of Labour government. Labour have proved themselves incapable of listening to or acting on identified savings – we will not make that mistake,” Hammond said in a statement.
It follows Brown’s announcement yesterday that the public sector will go further than ever before to make cutbacks of £12 billion
over the next four years. This is £3 billion more than identified in the Budget in April.
Hammond said Brown’s speech consisted of “reheated announcements and attempts to copy Conservative policies”.