HC Deb 08 April 1987 vol 114 cc225-6W
Mr. Latham

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make a statement on the effect on his Department of the financial management initiative.

Mr. Eggar

The FCO response to the financial management initiative involves a wide range of management reforms which have built on work already being done by the FCO to improve management and value for money. The precise effects of the financial management initiative cannot therefore be defined.

Both the diplomatic and aid wings of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have introduced top management systems, which provide a structured framework for planning the strategic deployment of resources. All posts and departments in the diplomatic wing and all staff in the aid wing have an agreed set of objectives against which performance is regularly assessed.

Computerised management information systems provide managers at all levels with information on the costs of their programmes. The aid wing has a long-established system of budgeting for programme expenditure. Further delegated budgeting has been introduced, notably overseas. Thirty per cent. of local expenditure is now controlled directly by posts and greater responsibility has been devolved to Overseas Development Administration's development divisions.

These reforms have led to a clearer setting of priorities, more effective targeting of activities and greater awareness

Experiments by primary purpose: Scotland
1983 1984 1985
Study of normal or abnormal body structure or function 119.3 115.6 122.1
To select, develop or study the use etc. of medical, dental and veterinary products 54.4 49.2 42.0
Development of transplant techniques 0.4 0.9 1.3
To select, develop or study the use, hazards or safety of:
Plant pesticides (including fungicides) 1.0 0.5 4.1
Herbicides or substances modifying plant growth 1 0–5 1
Substances used in industry 2.6 1.3 3.4
Substances used in the household 1 0.1 0.1
Cosmetics and toiletries 0.9 0.2 0.9
Food additives 3.8 0.4 1.1
Tobacco and its substitutes
Injurious plants or metazoan animals and their toxins 1.8 0.8 0.5
of the financial implications of policy decisions. The results of these improvements are reflected in the specific output measures published in Cm. 56 and in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's success in meeting many of the additional demands on its services through efficiency savings without recourse to extra resources from central funds.