Budget 2010: Ministry of Justice
24 March 2010
Today the Ministry of Justice announces that it will deliver £343m of savings, as the departmental contribution towards £11bn savings that are being made across Government.
The Budget has today reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to making £11bn of savings a year by 2012/13 from efficiency and streamlining the centre of Government.
The £11bn of savings will help halve the deficit over four years and protect front-line priorities. The savings will come following the work of the Operational Efficiency Programme and Putting the Frontline First: Smarter Government.
The department will meet this target through a range of activities, including:
- Saving £27m by 2012/13 by reducing the cost of the Ministry of Justice’s arm’s-length bodies, including by reducing their number by one third this year, streamlining the Legal Services Commission (and moving it to Executive Agency status), efficiencies from the Youth Justice Board, bringing together Her Majesty’s Courts Service and the Tribunals Service into a unified agency, abolishing the 19 Courts Boards, and reviewing the role and operation of the Judicial Appointments Commission (subject to legislative approvals).
- Our estates strategy will relocate 1,000 posts out of central London by 2015, and where value for money is demonstrated these posts will move out of London. At least 50% will move out of London and the South East. This will enable the Ministry of Justice to rationalise its London estate from 18 buildings to four, with savings reaching £41m by 2015. In addition, the Ministry of Justice will explore further opportunities for creating regional hubs.
- Spending less on procurement and consultancy: significant savings have already been realised through major renegotiations across large contracts, and we will drive further savings from our procurement and reductions in the use of consultants and contractors, with savings of £25m by 2012/13.
- Reducing the cost of the Senior Civil Service by 20%, saving £5m by 2012/13.
- Introducing a shared service centre for back office HR, payroll, finance and procurement transactions, providing services to 81,000 staff within the Ministry of Justice, saving £25 million by 2013/14.
Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor Jack Straw said:
‘The efficiency savings that have been announced today will ensure that whilst making these important changes we continue to deliver front-line services across the justice system and ensuring best value for taxpayers’ money. We have already made excellent progress towards £1 billion of savings the department committed to make within the current Spending Review.’
The Ministry of Justice is committed to delivering the significant savings necessary and is making real progress through ambitious efficiency and value for money plans. This builds on the £1 billion of efficiency savings the Ministry of Justice is making during the current Spending Review period.
Notes to editors
2. Budget announces examples of how departments will deliver savings will come from
- £8bn operational efficiencies
- £0.5bn reforms to arm’s-length bodies
- over £650m/£0.65bn from reducing spend on marketing, communication and consultancy budgets
- £0.5bn from reducing spend on IT programmes
- £0.3bn from reducing spend on energy
- £0.14bn from reducing spend on the senior civil service and reducing days lost to sickness.
3. These savings will contribute towards reducing borrowing and protecting front-line priorities.
4. In addition to Operational Efficiency and Smarter Government savings of £343m, the Ministry of Justice will make a contribution to the Public Value Programme, by saving £360m through reforms across the criminal justice system and legal aid, including:
- A rigorous process of benchmarking and costed service specifications for prisons and probation will save £40m with inefficient prisons to be put out to competition. Five competitions were launched in November. Further savings will be made by improving the management of casework through the criminal justice system and making better use of the court estate. Twenty magistrates’ courts will be closed in the first phase of this work
- Further reforms to legal aid, including the introduction of means testing for Crown Court cases from April, saving up to £50m, and proposals to restructure the criminal legal aid market, by consolidating the number of providers and increasing competition, as set out in Restructuring the delivery of criminal defence services published by Justice Secretary on 22 March 2010.