Magazine article Public Finance

Bleak Midwinter View of Scots' Efficiency Drive

Magazine article Public Finance

Bleak Midwinter View of Scots' Efficiency Drive

Article excerpt

The Scottish Executives £1.2bn efficiency drive has been thrown into doubt by a senior economic specialist.

Professor Arthur Midwinter told the Scottish Parliament s finance committee this week that the Executives measures held out no clear prospect of increased efficiency.

Midwinter said that both the finance committee and Audit Scotland had raised concerns about the quality of information, about financial data, the lack of output data, the need for baselines and the need for more transparency with regard to how the savings were being delivered.

He added: 'Unless we get the output data and baselines, this cannot possibly be an efficiency programme. It's simply an exercise in reallocating money.'

The Executives efficient government plan, published in November last year, aims to make £745m of recurring savings by 2007/08. The Executive has defined the efficiency gains as getting more outputs - improved services for the same or smaller amounts of cash. …

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