UK government requests ideas from public sector staff to cut costs and waste

Paul Snell is managing editor at Supply Management
3 August 2015

Public sector staff are again being asked by the UK government to come up with ideas to cut spending and reduce waste.

In an open letter published today, the chancellor and chief secretary to the Treasury have requested the help of public sector employees to help “finishing the job of repairing Britain’s finances”.

The letter from George Osborne and Greg Hands said: “You know better than most where we can take the next steps. You know first-hand where things are working well on the frontline of public services, but also where the waste is and where we can provide better services for less money.”

An online portal has been launched for staff to submit their suggestions for the 'efficiency challenge' by 4 September. These will be considered by the Treasury and Cabinet Office.

It follows a similar call for ideas in 2010, which the government said led to the phasing out of plastic cards featuring a national insurance number, and a reduction in the need for multiple Criminal Record Bureau checks.

In the budget in July chancellor George Osborne said there was “still much more we can do” with regards to the sector’s efficiency, and asked central government departments to draw up plans for cuts of either 25 per cent or 40 per cent by 2019-20 under the spending review. The outcome of the spending review will be publicised on 25 November.

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