Magazine article Public Finance


Magazine article Public Finance


Article excerpt

Efficiencies talk is 1970s speak

Why is everyone talking about efficiency reviews and shared services as if they were new ideas? Before moving into a career in international financial consultancy, I worked for seven years in English local government in the 1970s.

At the London Borough of Wandsworth, we carried out value-for-money audits, identifying how to achieve more with a given set of resources. With the increased sophistication of such audits in the intervening 35 years, I would have thought that every last ounce of fat would have been long since removed from the carcass.

I then moved to Kingston upon Thames council where we shared IT facilities with Button. I have also worked in Hampshire where there was a purchasing consortium. These ideas have been used for decades. So I am unsure why anyone should now regard them as possible 'silver bullets' for die current financial problems.


Wiltshire, UK

Make a principle ofnotavoidingtax

The forthcoming National Audit Office review of Revenue & Customs, high-profile alleged tax avoidance cases and Richard Murphy's 'There is an alternative' (Public Finance, October 8, 2010), all raise the question whether we accountants have a conflict of interest on tax. …

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