HC Deb 18 May 1971 vol 817 cc1062-3
13. Mr. Deakins

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to what extent he intends that the system of planning-programming-budgeting shall be introduced in his own Department.

Mr. Maurice Macmillan

Planning-programming-budgeting shows most promise as a tool for improving the allocation of resources within major expenditure programmes and is not really suited to a Department such as the Treasury which has only a small expenditure, mainly on staff.

Mr. Deakins

Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that management of Government expenditure is not merely a matter of providing accounting information, which is basically all that the Treasury gets at the moment, but also a matter of providing management information, which is different? Surely if the Treasury is to insist, as I hope it will eventually, that all Government Departments should introduce some form of P.P.B., it would be wrong, to put it mildly, if the Treasury did not introduce this system for its own expenditure?

Mr. Macmillan

As the hon. Gentleman knows, a number of Departments have responsibility for major expenditure work and are either operating a P.P.B. system or exploring whether one can be usefully introduced. As an example, the Department of Education and Science recently gave evidence to the Education and Arts Sub-Committee about its work on P.P.B. Hon. Members will also be aware that the Government have instituted a system of programme analysis and review which uses some of the concepts of P.P.B. on an output basis. This is being applied to major expenditure programmes and we hope that it will be expanded. On reflection, the hon. Member might agree that the work of the Treasury is so very small, with the exception of the Revenue Departments, that the limited effort which we can mount at the moment is better applied elsewhere.