§ Mr. Major
[holding answer 13 June 1988]The recent guide to policy evaluation which was published on 12 April 1988 and a copy of which was placed in the Library described value for money as:Ultimately the final social and economic benefit of a policy in relation to the cost. Sometimes used as shorthand for the optimum combination of economy, effectiveness and efficiency.
Given the variety of activities with which the Civil Service is concerned and the difficulties in a number of areas of valuing final output, there is no single test or procedure for evaluating value for money. But such tests would include the extent to which the effectiveness of the programme has been enhanced without additional resources or, alternatively, the extent to which effectiveness has been maintained with fewer resources through increased efficiency and improved economy. Volume I of the last public expenditure White Paper included a broad description of the measures being taken to improve value for money. Examples of value for money are given in the programme chapters in volume II.