Committee of Public Accounts: Press Notice

A STATEMENT FROM EDWARD LEIGH MP

CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS

National Audit Office report: The Efficiency Programme: a second review of progress

Don’t bet your house on the truth of claims by the government that it has already achieved an annual £13.3 billion worth of efficiency savings. The National Audit Office has found that there is a question mark over nearly £10 billion of these claims (74 per cent).  

It disappoints me that once again my Committee must address the issue of achieving efficiency at the expense of service quality. Last year I spoke out and today I repeat myself:  it is unacceptable that, for some projects, the departments in question don’t really know whether service quality has been affected.

It is right that government has a focus on efficiency and this programme has certainly had some positive effects. I am pleased that, in the next spending period from April 2008, unlike under the Gershon programme, the cost of achieving efficiencies will be taken into account.

I also want to see the focus on departments as a whole rather than, as at present, a haphazard collection of projects.

Notes for Editors

Requests for further comment from Edward Leigh should be made via Luke Robinson, Select Committee Media Officer, on 020 7219 5693 or 07917 488549.