Departmental Co-ordination

Cabinet Office written question – answered at on 24 May 2011.

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Photo of Dan Jarvis Dan Jarvis Labour, Barnsley Central

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent steps he has taken to develop more efficient and co-ordinated working practices across Government Departments.

Photo of Francis Maude Francis Maude The Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office

holding answer 23 May 2011

The Efficiency and Reform Group has been set up to create a new corporate centre to drive reform and co-ordinate actions across Departments. It is introducing a more unified approach to common processes across Government in order to deliver a step change in efficiency in areas such as civil service HR, ICT, commercial and procurement, estates and other support functions.

Recently, for example, it has published the Government's ICT strategy, which will deliver better public services for less cost. A common ICT infrastructure will allow for the sharing and re-use of our ICT assets across organisational boundaries. This will save millions by reducing duplication and waste, and improve the way we deliver and use ICT. Our new centralised procurement model will reform how Government buys common goods and services, through centrally managing the procurement of certain categories of spend such as energy, office solutions and travel. ERG has implemented controls on Government spending, requiring central approval for certain categories of spend to ensure a co-ordinated approach across Departments and to prevent non-essential expenditure.

ERG has already been effective in supporting Departments to achieve savings, which are expected to have reached over £3 billion in 2010-11.

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