§ Mr. Maples
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps have been taken by his Department since May 1979 to improve its efficiency; what has been the result; what further steps are currently being taken to improve efficiency; what the results are expected to be; and what output criteria have been developed by his Department to help measure its efficiency.
§ Mr. Butcher
Since May 1979 the Department (and its predecessors) has:
- (a) carried out 17 efficiency scrutinies which have led to the saving of 500 posts, financial savings of £10 million per annum (amounting to £31 million to date); six additional scrutinies will be completed during 1984–85;
- (b) reviewed 5,670 posts by means of staff inspection, as a result of which many changes conducive to greater efficiency have been made, including the saving of 490 posts; the rate of staff inspection work will continue in 1984–85;
- (c) mounted 48 major organisation and methods studies; at least 18 studies will be mounted during 1984–85;
- (d) developed and professionalised its internal audit capability, which is now therefore becoming involved in the development of management control systems; and
- (e) reduced its staff by some 18 per cent.
Details of the Department's contribution to the financial management initiative were set out in last year's White Paper (Cmnd. 9058). Progress on the Department's continuing efforts to improve efficiency, including work on performance measurement, will be included in a further White Paper to be issued shortly.