Magazine article Public Finance

Scottish Efficiency Savings Information 'Still Flawed'

Magazine article Public Finance

Scottish Efficiency Savings Information 'Still Flawed'

Article excerpt

An influential adviser on public finance has warned that the Scottish Executive is unlikely to achieve its planned 'efficient government' savings target of £810m.

Professor Arthur Midwinter told the finance committee of the Scottish Parliament last week that there were still major weaknesses in the Executive's revised efficiency technical notes (ETNs).

He said these had to be overcome to provide robust evidence to monitor the Executive's performance on efficient government. Uncertainties meant that actual savings would fall short of the target of £810m by 2007/08.

Midwinter, the committee's finance adviser, has been a strong critic of the handling of efficient government and has challenged Finance Minister Tom McCabe over a number of issues.

He said information gaps remained for specific ETNs, and there were differing interpretations of inputs -costs such as labour, material and energy - and outputs, which can include services such as homes built or roads maintained. …

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