25 March 2015
Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude has announced that for the financial year 2014 to 2015 up to January 2015, the government has already identified £11 billion of efficiency and reform savings, compared with a 2009 to 2010 baseline - an increase of a third from the same point last year.
The savings include a mixture of recurring and non-recurring items, and will be reviewed and verified at year-end by an independent auditor, as they have been for previous years. Benefits from fraud, error and uncollected debt reductions this year are still to come.
The minister said that the Civil Service had reached its smallest size since the Second World War with 21 per cent fewer civil servants on a like-for-like basis. Central government's property estate is down by a fifth and the government has got out of 2,018 buildings - the equivalent of one a day - since 2010.
Property assets will now be centrally owned and managed to speed up savings. And an innovative deal to create a joint venture (Crown Hosting Data Centres Limited) for hosting data servers will save up to £100 million over seven years.
A number of initiatives to help deliver more savings were also unveiled this week. These include: recruiting 25 new commercial experts to drive further savings from supplier contracts and improve commercial capability across the civil service; publishing more detail on the government's Functional Leadership model; launching a Project Leadership Programme with Cranfield University to improve project management skills; and reviewing telecommunications and digital infrastructure to identify networks that could be used more efficiently to enhance connectivity, both within government and for the public.
Since May 2010 the Cabinet Office has led a programme of efficiency and reform, working closely with HM Treasury, to ensure that taxpayers' money is spent wisely.