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Corporate reports, finances and accounts

Corporate reports and accounts

Each year we publish: 

  • Our Departmental Report – which gives a wide view of Defra’s achievements and future challenges
  • Our Autumn Performance Report – which reviews our progress towards achieving our targets
  • Our Resource Accounts – which give details of the resources acquired, held, disposed of and used during the financial year

Defra spends just under £3 billion annually and pays out over £2 billion of EU moneys. We have had a target of achieving sustained, cash-releasing annual Value for Money (VfM) savings worth £381 million by the end of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR07) period (ie by 2010/11). Progress towards this target was set out in our last Autumn Performance Report.

Budget 2011-2015

Defra has agreed with HM Treasury to deliver savings of £661m by the end of the Spending Review period, 2014-15. On 20 December 2010 Defra informed the core Department and its Arm’s Length Bodies (ALBs) of their allocations for 2011/12 and indicative allocations for the remainder of the spending review period.  

The budget allocations reflect Defra’s priorities to support and develop British farming and encourage sustainable food production; to help to enhance the environment and biodiversity to improve quality of life; and to support a strong and sustainable green economy, which is resilient to climate change.

In agreeing its settlement, Defra has also sought to protect spending on flood and coastal erosion risk management as much as possible, to focus on being better prepared for and better protected against risks such as flooding and animal disease outbreaks, to champion rural communities, and to give power back to local communities to make decisions about their local environment.

The allocations for each Arm’s Length Body are set out below. Please note that these refer to Resource (Admin and Programme) budgets, and some specific Capital projects. Final decisions on the remainder of Defra’s Capital budget will be made early in 2011. The allocations for 2012/13, 2013/14, and 2014/15 are indicative.

Publication of exceptions to moratoria on discretionary spend

To help tackle the budget deficit, the Government introduced a new and ambitious approach to take out costs and waste in central government operations – in order to protect essential jobs and services on the frontline.

Measures include a significant programme of renegotiating contracts with major suppliers and a strict moratorium in five key areas of discretionary spend:

  • Consulting
  • ICT
  • Recruitment
  • Marketing
  • Property

The only exceptions to the moratoria permitted in these five key areas have been published in this Defra exceptions data (Excel format) spreadsheet.

Savings in 2010/11

The new government said its most urgent priority was to tackle the UK’s deficit in order to restore confidence in our economy and support the recovery. On 24 May 2010 the Chancellor and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury announced the first step in tackling the deficit, setting out details of how the government will save over £6billion from spending during this financial year. These savings have been found by cutting waste and low value programmes across government.

Defra and its arm’s length bodies will contribute £162 million to the government’s overall £6 billion savings in 2010/11, amounting to 5.5% of its 2010/11 budget. This is on top of the savings and reductions to our baseline that we have achieved over the last couple of years.

These in-year efficiencies will include the following elements: 

  • £49 million from Core Defra operational efficiencies
    • Core Defra admin – £12 million (5.5%)
    • IT – £17 million;
    • Estates – £19 million;
    • Shared services, knowledge management, performance – £1 million
  • £45 million equating to a 5% in-year cut in budgets of Defra’s arm’s length bodies
  • £8 million from reducing funding for Regional Development Agencies
  • £7.5 million from a reduction in (un-used) grants to local authorities for contaminated land
  • £30 million savings in flood management while still maintaining expenditure at record levels
  • £23 million from reducing other low value spend
    • £5 million from making better use of EU funding for Catchment Sensitive Farming
    • £9 million from the Rural Development Programme for England including from reducing agri-environment capital payments
    • £5 million from scaling back IT investment on the Whole Farm Approach
    • £4 million reflecting the decreasing prevalence of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies disease in recent years

Page last modified: 20 December 2010