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GOVERNMENT CONTINUES DRIVE FOR EVEN BETTER, MORE EFFICIENTLY ORGANISED PUBLIC SERVICES

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The government today provided further information on how local...
The government today provided further information on how local

authorities will be helped to deliver efficiency gains in local

government of at least£6.45bn by 2007/08, set out by the

chancellor in the 2004 spending review.

In a guidance pack sent out today to leaders and chief executives of

all local authorities in England, the government also outlines how

local authorities will measure and report efficiency gains they have

achieved by means of a three-stage self-assessment process. This

method has been determined following consultation with a group of

local authorities and organisations including the Audit Commission,

Local Government Association and INLOGOV of the University of

Birmingham.

The pack offers guidance for local authorities on how change agents

such as the regional centres of excellence will support local

authorities in delivering efficiency gains. It also gives examples of

good practice within local government on which local authorities can

build to deliver improved value for money in public services.

Local government minister Nick Raynsford said:

'I am pleased to offer further guidance to all local authorities on

how we can work together to meet the target of efficiency gains in

local government of at least£6.45bn by 2007/8.

'The efficiency agenda is not about cutting services. It is about

improving productivity by getting more from the same resources. This

is a real win:win opportunity for local government as all savings can

be reinvested in improved services or used to reduce council tax.

'A number of local authorities have already demonstrated their scope

for substantial efficiency savings through for example better

procurement and streamlined back offices, and we want to use this

experience, and build on it, to deliver even better, more efficiently

organised, public services. I hope that every authority, change agent

and local government organisation will embrace the opportunities

there are to improve the way local services are delivered.'

Today's guidance builds on a previous information pack published in

November 2004 setting out what the spending review target means for

local authorities.

Further information on the self-assessment process to be used by

local authorities in measuring efficiency gains is set out in a

revised Efficiency Technical Note (ETN) for Local Government, also

published today by the ODPM. This follows an earlier ETN published in

November 2004 which announced the start of a pilot study to test two

different methodologies for reporting efficiency gains.

Note

A copy of today's guidance pack, entitled 'Delivering Efficiency

in Local Services: Detailed guidance for Local Authorities' is

available on the ODPM website.

A copy of the ETN for Local Government also published today is

available here.

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