HC Deb 27 October 1986 vol 103 c47W
Mr. Frank Field

asked the Minister for the Civil Service if she will detail the changes made by each Department following the recommendations in the statistical service, Cmnd. 8236, giving information on the changes made, the size of any reduction in that and the savings to public expenditure; and if she will list any other changes which the Government intend to make.

Mr. Frank Field

asked the Minister for the Civil Service if she will update the Government's table "Estimated and Projected Expenditure and Manpower" which appears in "Government Statistical Services" Cmnd. 8236, by detailing which of the changes costed in the column, "Reducation May 1979 to April 1984", has taken place and in additional column, from changes still to take place.

Mr. Luce

By implementing the changes recommended in the White Paper, "Government Statistical Services" (Cmnd 8236), Departments had achieved total annual savings above the target of £26.5 million by April 1984. Departmental savings were nearly all close to or greater than the individual targets given in the table "Estimated and Projected Expenditure and Manpower". During the 1984–85 financial year further savings were made taking the annual savings to some £5 million above the target given in the White Paper.

Comparisons of departmental expenditure on the basis used in the White Paper have become increasingly imprecise due to developments in departmental financial management systems and reorganisation of some areas of work. It is no longer practicable therefore to distinguish current savings following directly from the recommendations in the White Paper.

The statistical service continues to seek economies and value for money. Future improvements are likely to depend increasingly on the exploitation of computers. Between the financial years 1984–85 and 1985–86 further savings were found but were more than offset by increased investment in computer systems and other automatic equipment.