HC Deb 02 July 1997 vol 297 c214W
22. Mr. Ian Stewart

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement on the role of the efficiency and effectiveness group in his Department. [4948]

Dr. David Clark

The Efficiency and Effectiveness Group comprises Efficiency Unit and the Next Steps Team. It is central to carrying out the Government's programme to provide high quality and efficient public services, at the lowest cost to the taxpayer. The Group supports departments (and their agencies and other public bodies) to improve the management of their business, by maintaining pressure for continuous improvement through the following measures: overseeing the creation and review of Next Steps agencies and monitoring their performance in the annualNext Steps Review; scrutinising departments' efficiency plans; sponsoring efficiency scrutinies, for example the recent scrutiny on prescription fraud, and other special studies. The Efficiency Unit, along with the No. 10 Policy Unit and the Treasury, is fully involved in the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review.

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