The day before the budget, the 21st April 2009, the Treasury published a number of documents, but one in particular is appropriate to the subject of this blog and my research, which is the Operational Efficiency Programme: final report, April 2009.
Signed, as the report is, by Sir Michael Bichard, Lord Carter, Gerry Grimstone, Martin Jay and Dr Martin Read, it presents a summary of conclusions to their respective investigations. The one by Dr Read has already been commented on here but this is the report that supports the budget and any future Comprehensive Spending Review with it claiming £7.2 billion of potential savings being able to be made by April 2012!
What may be of interest is how the savings might be produced. One proposal is by rationalistion of back of systems and the latest report announces on page 9 that “all public sector organisations employing more than 250 people must collect and publish data using the audit agencies’ approved value for money indicators for back office operations…by December 2009 for wider public sector.” To save you searching the indicators are available on the Public Audit Forum’s site. Those familiar with the Socitm KPI’s that were worked on with the Audit Commission some years ago but have progressively developed will see a lot of similarity!
The report also contains the statement that: “what is not measured well will not be managed well” at the end of page 18, also states on page 22 that “there is a lack of reliable,consistent management information on public sector It expenditure”, which I’d probably agree with – come on CIPFA – do something about that!