§ Mr. Crausby
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he is taking to increase the productivity and reduce the running costs of his Department. 
§ Miss Melanie Johnson
The Treasury's Public Service Agreement includes the following range of measures for increasing productivity within the Department, and hence saving running costsa programme for reviewing all services and activities systematically over five years under the Better Quality Services initiative announced in the Modernising Government White Paper. The Public Service Agreement commits the Treasury to completing 60 per cent. of reviews by March 2003.an information strategy review, examining internal business processes and best working practices, and adoption of recommendations on better inter-departmental co-ordination.a reduction in the number and length of unfilled vacancies.a new robust system for recording sickness absence.moving to electronic publishing of information material previously published on paper.increasing the proportion of business undertaken electronically in accordance with Government targets.105Wa review of the application of procurement techniques to expenditure, including electronic procurement of standard goods, paying suppliers electronically, and collaborating in joint procurement projects when they offer better value.
The Treasury's gross running costs provision for 1999–2000 to 2001–02 is set out in its Public Service Agreement. The productivity measures listed above will enable the Department to increase the quantity and quality of outputs delivered by its running costs expenditure over this period.