Feeds

UK government wastes billions, MPs warn

That's governments for you

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Efforts to improve efficiency and value for money across government are being undermined by poor project management and leadership skills, MPs have warned.

A hard-hitting report by the cross-party House of Commons' Public Accounts Committee (PAC) this week said government departments are wasting billions of pounds of public money by failing to learn from each other and repeating mistakes time and again.

The government is signed up to the recommendations of last year’s Gershon Review, which suggested £20bn could be shaved from public spending through new technologies and the efficient use of resources and manpower.

Overall the Committee, which scrutinises public spending, said that just a two per cent improvement in the use of resources could save the public purse £8bn a year, the equivalent of 15 new hospitals or 2p off the rate of basic tax.

But, following a review of some of its reports of the past decade, which have made recommendations to Government on the efficient use of public money, the PAC concluded only limited progress is being made.

In particular it found that the take-up of new technologies that could reduce bureaucracy and increase efficiency has been slow.

It also expressed concern that while individual departments have taken on board the Committee’s past recommendations, these lessons have not been shared across Whitehall.

Committee chairman Edward Leigh said the report "suggests a failure by departments to learn from each other’s experience. Basic errors are repeated time and again, despite fine words and earnest assurances to this committee.

“Many public services are chronically marred by deadening complexity and bureaucracy. There is a continuing lack of leadership and drive. And government departments still disregard common and well-publicised pitfalls when they approach projects.”

The PAC made seven recommendations to government on how it could improve future performance. These include better planning, reducing complexity and bureaucracy, more commercial awareness, tackling fraud and improving public service productivity.

See:

Report: Achieving value for money in the delivery of public services (PDF: 693KB)

Copyright © eGov monitor Weekly

eGov monitor Weekly is a free e-newsletter covering developments in UK eGovernment and public sector IT over the last seven days. To register go here.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Redmond resists order to hand over overseas email
Court wanted peek as related to US investigation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.