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The Efficiency and Reform Group’s role in improving public sector value for money

The National Audit Office has today published a review of the developments to date associated with the Efficiency and Reform Group and its main responsibilities.

In May 2010, the Government announced the formation of the Efficiency and Reform Group within the Cabinet Office. The Group brings many of the functions of a typical corporate headquarters together in one place in the centre of government. Its priorities are improving efficiency in central government, and wider reform of the way public services are provided, in order to make the spending reductions required by the 2010 Spending Review.

The Group is responsible for various new initiatives which are designed to increase efficiency, make savings and improve value for money. These include renegotiating contracts with major suppliers; implementation of a centralised procurement process; a review of major government projects; and a new Property Unit.

The NAO’s review details various challenges that the Group faces. It is too soon for the NAO to reach a judgment on its success in improving the value for money of government overall. The review is intended to provide an objective baseline against which progress made by the Group can be assessed by the NAO and the Public Accounts Committee.

"We welcome the Efficiency and Reform Group’s twin priorities of improving the efficiency of central government and reforming public service provision. However, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and we look forward to evaluating how these initiatives perform in practice."

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office

Notes for Editors

  • The report draws on the results of recent NAO work in the areas for which Efficiency and Reform Group are responsible. Including National Audit Office and Audit Commission, A review of collaborative procurement across the public sector, May 2010; C&AG’s Report, Improving the efficiency of central government’s use of office property, HC8 2007-2008, November 2007; National Audit Office, Assurance for high risk projects, June 2010; and National Audit Office, Maturity of process management in central government, December 2010
  • Press notices and reports are available from the date of publication on the NAO website, which is at www.nao.org.uk. Hard copies can be obtained from The Stationery Office on 0845 702 3474.
  • The Comptroller and Auditor General, Amyas Morse, is the head of the National Audit Office which employs some 900 staff. He and the NAO are totally independent of Government. He certifies the accounts of all Government departments and a wide range of other public sector bodies; and he has statutory authority to report to Parliament on the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which departments and other bodies have used their resources.

PN: 18/11