24 May 2010
As part of the Government’s drive to achieve the £6.2 billion of spending cuts announced by the Chancellor this morning, a powerful new joint Treasury-Cabinet Office group will be set up to ensure savings across Whitehall and Arms Length Bodies happen quickly.
The savings will be driven by the Efficiency and Reform Group, whose board will be chaired jointly by Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Laws and Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General Francis Maude. The Group, which will be formed by pulling together existing capabilities, will have the power to make sure departments work together to tackle waste and improve accountability across a range of areas, including ICT spend, procurement, advertising and marketing spend, and Civil Service expenses and recruitment.
The group's first priorities, with immediate effect, will be to:
Mr Maude said the group will ensure there is a stronger central push driving through the efficiency savings:
We have got to get an immediate grip on Whitehall waste if we’re going to tackle this unprecedented £156 billion deficit quickly, while protecting the quality of important front line services and getting the economy growing. Good government can cost less. It won't do just to carry on as before. By joining forces and concentrating our efforts where the money actually gets spent, we can make sure the maximum amount gets taken out of government overheads, not front line services.
The Group will be chaired by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and the Minister for the Cabinet Office and will include other members with specialist commercial expertise.
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