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The launch of the second Invest to Save Budget (ISB) bidding round, promised in the Modernising Government White Pa...
The launch of the second Invest to Save Budget (ISB) bidding round, promised in the Modernising Government White Paper, has been announced by chief secretary to the treasury, Alan Milburn, and minister for the cabinet office, Jack Cunningham.

The ISB is allocating£230m over the next three years for projects which look for new ways of delivering public services through joint working between public sector bodies.

Commenting on the launch yesterday, Mr Milburn said: 'The first bidding round demonstrated how the Invest to Save Budget can kickstart new and exciting ways of delivering public services. 33 projects are being supported which will deliver better and higher quality services through collaboration in the public sector.

We want to build on this positive start in Round Two. We have thrown open the competition to the public sector as a whole. This will enable local authorities and health authorities, among others, to bid for funds alongside government departments.

This will tap the huge potential for new alliances to be forged across traditional service boundaries. Such cooperation will bring improvements both in quality and efficiency. Invest to Save encourages public sector managers to think imaginatively about how they provide services. The beneficiaries are public service users and the taxpayer.'

Adding to this, Dr Cunningham said:

'Our White Paper on Modernising Government, published on 30 March, set out our commitment to delivering services and programmes which are not only efficient and effective but are also joined-up and responsive. People are rightly impatient about the barriers to effective and convenient service which stem simply from the way government is organised.

The White Paper set out how we intend to deliver services that respond to users' needs. The second ISB bidding round is one of the first steps we are taking to carry this forward.

The ISB supports working examples of what we mean by modern public services. And it helps to pilot new ways of collaborative working which have the potential for wider application.'


1. The treasury has issued bidding guidance inviting public sector bodies to come forward with bids for the funding of projects. All projects receiving support from the ISB must increase the extent of joint working between different parts of government and meet the following overarching objectives:

to identify innovative ways of delivering public services which serve the Modernising Government agenda; and to reduce the cost of delivering public services and/or improve the quality and effectiveness of services delivered to the public.

2.£230m will be provided from the ISB between 1999 and 2002.£120m was allocated to projects successful in the first round. In the second round,£45m will be available from for projects to be drawn down in 2000-01. Some resources will also be available for projects continuing into 2001-02 and, in exceptional cases, 2002-03.

3. The projects successful in ISB first round included:

the piloting of joint call centres for the police, ambulance, fire and rescue services. This will provide an integrated response from the emergency services which will help people at times when they most need it.

an online database providing instant access to information about land and property. This will help to speed up property conveyancing.

a pilot project testing out the feasibility of applications for vehicle tax discs being made electronically.

4. Those with access to the internet can find the bidding guidance and other treasury information at

5. Copies of the White Paper 'Modernising government' may be purchased from the Stationery Office, Cm 4310, (£9) ISBN 0-10-143102-3. It is also be available on the web at:

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