HM Treasury

Spending Review


18 July 2000

New targets for better public services : Public Service Agreements (PSAs) 2001- 04

Targets to improve schools and hospitals, tackle poverty, get more people into work and cut crime are included in the new Public Service Agreements (PSAs) announced today by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Smith.

The White Paper published today Spending Review 2000: Public Service Agreements 2001-2004 brings together detailed information on the aims, objectives and performance targets for each of the main departments in Government for the next three years and sets down the key improvements needed to deliver better public services.

The Government has gone further than ever before in setting clear and measurable targets for outputs and outcomes. Amongst the 160 targets announced today are:

Targets to improve transport - announced by the Deputy Prime Minister in the 10 Year Transport Plan, and those for improving the nations' health and the health service - announced in the Government's NHS Plan on 27 July, are brought together alongside every department's PSA in the White Paper published today.

Andrew Smith said:

"Last week's Spending Review showed this Government providing massive new investment for the British people's top priorities - schools, hospitals, transport and the fight against crime.

"These new targets show the British people that we are on their side, share their priorities and are tackling the issues that matter to them.

"They show how we will back our spending plans with delivery of better public services: driving up standards in our schools and hospitals; cutting crime and improving our court system; improving our environment and delivering a transport system to be proud of.

"Setting targets is a real motivator for Government and for those in the front line delivering services to the public - doctors, teachers, police and civil servants alike. They are also central to the Government's reform agenda - our commitment to transparency and accountability."

The PSAs are transparent commitments which the Government can be held accountable for. Progress in delivering these targets will be monitored closely and reported in annual departmental reports.

Notes for editors

1. Details of a pilot scheme for local PSAs were also announced today jointly by Local Government Minister Hilary Armstrong, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Smith and Sir Jeremy Beecham, Chairman of the Local Government Association. The Government announced in Spending Review 2000 that it intended to offer local authorities the opportunity to enter into new local PSAs. The concept has been developed in close partnership with the Local Government Association and is based in part on their Local Challenge proposals.

2. Departments' plans for good management of their resources, both money and people, will be published in new Service Delivery Agreements (SDAs) this Autumn.

3. The new PSAs, developed as an integral part of Spending Review 2000, build on the success of the first PSAs published in the 1998 Comprehensive Spending Review and set challenging targets for the next three years focused clearly on the Government's priorities. Progress updates against policy performance targets set in 1998 are published in government departments' annual reports. These are available from departmental press offices and websites.

4. Spending Review 2000: Public Service Agreements 2001-2004 is also available from the Stationery Office (Cm4808) For more details contact the HM Treasury press office on 020 7270 5238.

The Public Service Agreements 1999-2002 are available below in Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF). If you do not have Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer you can download the software free of charge from the Adobe website.

For alternative ways to read PDF documents and further information on website accessibility visit the HM Treasury accessibility page.

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