§ Mr. Burt
The administration of the Benefits Agency is a matter for the chief executive, Mr. Michael Bichard. He will write to the hon. Member and a copy will be placed in the Library.
Letter from Mr. M. Bichard to Ms Ann Coffey, dated 3 November 1993:As Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency, it is my responsibility to answer questions raised about relevant operational matters. I am therefore replying to your recent Parliamentary Question asking the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has to increase the efficient use of staff time in the Benefits Agency.The Benefits Agency, as part of the Civil Service, is required to provide to Treasury improved efficiency of 2 per cent. each year. The savings are part of a rolling programme of efficiencies required under the Public Expenditure Survey.With the introduction of new technology and other improvements in organisation, current measurement shows that, between 1989–90 and 1992–93, staff efficiency in respect of output improved by around 20 per cent.The Benefits Agency seeks at all levels of the organisation improvements in service and efficiency through reviews of current methods and implementation of staff suggestions.The Benefits Agency also has in place an Efficiency Review Unit responsible for seeking improvements in efficiency and achieving savings in administration costs.As a result of the improvements in efficiency and working methods staff resources are more effectively used in delivering the service.I hope you find this reply helpful. A copy will appear in the Official Report and a copy will also be placed in the Library.