The COVID-19 pandemic is putting public finances under severe pressure. Improving efficiency could help government to manage this pressure. Our past work has identified several areas where government can achieve efficiencies, as well as the risks of attempting to make savings without careful consideration of the unintended consequences.
Drawing on previous NAO work, and experience of looking across the whole of government, this report will set out principles government should consider when seeking to improve efficiency in the coming months and years. It is intended to inform the Comprehensive Spending Review, due in the Autumn, as well as help guide departments’ decisions over the longer term.