Feeds

UK government wastes billions, MPs warn

That's governments for you

Boost IT visibility and business value

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.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
Yes, Australia's government SHOULD store comms metadata
Not because it's a good idea but because it already operates the infrastructure and processes to do it well
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.