§ Mr. Eggar
asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list and describe the studies from within or without his Department relating to the effectiveness and efficiency of his Department together with the recommendations and action taken on those recommendations.
§ Mr. Michael Roberts
The Welsh Office conducts a very wide range of studies related to the effectiveness and efficiency of its business. They include Rayner scrutinies and contributions to centrally co-ordinated multi-department reviews as well as the continuing work of staff inspection, management services and internal audit. Such studies form an essential part of normal good management and have been given extra impetus by this Government's determination to cut out unnecessary work, simplify administration and, more generally, get the best value for the taxpayer's money. Full details about all of these studies and the action resulting from them could be obtained only at disproportionat costs. But, to give some examples, one of the Rayner scrutinies undertaken by the Department resulted in the contracting out of certain services connected with roads and simplifying and computerising road statistics: another scrutiny led to some disengagement from the control of local authority educational building projects. More general reviews of the organisation and staffing of all the groups in the Welsh Office are also in progress and these have already made possible some staff savings.
As a major new development we are preparing our plans under the Financial Management Initiative announced in Cmnd. 8616—"Efficiency and Effectiveness in the Civil Service". We have also just mounted a further Rayner scrutiny as well as continuing with a full programme of staff inspection and introducing new technology on an ever widening scale.
In addition, the Department is subject to the full range of examinations carried out by the Exchequer and Audit Department, the results of which are reported to the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Commons.