Delegation of Authority

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Service – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th December 1984.

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Photo of Mr Timothy Eggar Mr Timothy Eggar , Enfield North 12:00 am, 17th December 1984

asked the Minister for the Civil Service if he is satisfied with the level of delegation of authority within the Civil Service.

Photo of Mr Barney Hayhoe Mr Barney Hayhoe , Brentford and Isleworth

The central Departments have already delegated a wide range of authorities to spending Departments, while maintaining where necessary common standards and rules across the Civil Service, and Departments in turn delegate a good deal to line managers. More delegation is needed and this is one of the aims of the changes in management under way in the Civil Service.

Photo of Mr Timothy Eggar Mr Timothy Eggar , Enfield North

Has not the record of delegation of authority within Deparments, rather than within the centre, been somewhat disappointing despite the fact that the financial management initiative drew attention to the need for delegation? Has my hon. Friend noted that the new report from the efficiency unit draws attention to that? Will he assure the House that he will lead a drive to ensure that Departments follow the recommendations of the efficiency unit?

Photo of Mr Barney Hayhoe Mr Barney Hayhoe , Brentford and Isleworth

My hon. Friend, as so often on such matters, is right in what he says. We want to see more delegation. Delegation and accountability go together. We want to see that being extended. The financial management initiative has that as one of its main objectives. I shall do all that I can to facilitate progress on that initiative.