Efficiency Savings

Cabinet Office and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8th February 2017.

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Photo of Robert Courts Robert Courts Conservative, Witney 12:00 am, 8th February 2017

What steps he is taking to support Government Departments to deliver efficiency savings.

Photo of Ben Gummer Ben Gummer The Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office

Together with Her Majesty’s Treasury, and as part of our joint efficiency review, we are seeking to find savings of £15 billion to £20 billion by 2020. We have achieved £3.3 billion in the past year.

Photo of Robert Courts Robert Courts Conservative, Witney

As a councillor on West Oxfordshire District Council, I have seen how the commissioning of services from one provider by different public sector bodies can drive down costs, providing high-quality services at very low cost. Does my right hon. Friend agree that there are lessons to be learned for all sectors of government and that programmes such as One Public Estate are an excellent example of how collaborative working can help the public sector to deliver more for less?

Photo of Ben Gummer Ben Gummer The Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office

I thank my hon. Friend for that question and he is right to point out One Public Estate, which is a Cabinet Office programme ensuring cross-working and efficiency savings as a result. Many of the lessons we can work are from local government, and it is important that we all learn from each other as regards sharing services and cutting costs.

Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers Conservative, Chipping Barnet

Will my right hon. Friend introduce reforms so that different parts of the public sector can share data more easily, which will significantly improve efficiency?

Photo of Ben Gummer Ben Gummer The Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office

The Digital Economy Bill, which is passing through both Houses at the moment, does precisely that.