The efficiency programme: a second review of progress, forty-eighth report of session 2006-07, report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence

The Government's Efficiency Programme is designed to achieve ongoing efficiency gains across the public sector of £21.5 billion a year by 2007-08 to improve front line services, to reduce Civil Service posts by more than 70,000 and to reallocate a further 13,500 posts to front line services.Departments are responsible for delivering and quantifying the efficiencies achieved while the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) checks the robustness of figures put forward and provides support to help departments deliver their gains. On 26 February the Committee took evidence on the £13.3 billion of annual efficiency gains departments had reported up to 30 September 2006. While some of these reported gains are robust, almost £10 billion of reported efficiency gains remain uncertain. On the basis of a Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General,evidence was taken from OGC and the Treasury on four main issues: the measurement of efficiency gains and headcount reductions; the effects of efficiency projects on service quality; the management of the Programme; and embedding a culture of efficiency into the public sector.

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