Select Committee on Treasury Sixth Report

5  Embedding efficiency

Learning the lessons of the Gershon programme

60. A key strategic aim for the Government in shaping the 2007 Comprehensive Review is to concentrate not only on how much is spent, but how it is spent, in order to make finite resources go further. In pursuing this aim, the Government is seeking to build upon the record of the efficiency programme established as part of the previous Spending Review settlement.[123]

61. Alongside the 2004 Spending Review, the Government published a report by Sir Peter Gershon which reviewed the scope for further efficiencies in public spending.[124] Drawing on the Government's decision announced in the 2004 Budget to set "a stretching but realistic target for the whole public sector to deliver efficiencies of 2.5% a year over the three years of the 2004 Spending Review period which would deliver gains equivalent to £20 billion a year by 2007-08", Sir Peter Gershon identified annual savings on a departmental basis amounting to around £21.5 billion a year by 2007-08.[125] The Government accepted Sir Peter's recommendations, and departments agreed targets for the 2004 Spending Review period based on the savings identified by Sir Peter Gershon.[126]

62. The efficiency savings targets set in monetary terms as part of the 2004 Spending Review are summarised in Table 11. At the time that the Gershon efficiency programme was launched, considerable scepticism was voiced about whether the stretching targets to save over £21 billion could be achieved within the period of the 2004 Spending Review.[127] The final column of Table 11 shows the percentage of the annual savings target for each department in 2007-08 that had already been reported in the annual value of savings reported by December 2006. This shows that most departments have already reported as delivered monetary savings of at least around two-thirds of the total value of the annual savings intended to be achieved by the end of 2007-08. Some departments have already reported the delivery of savings that exceed their targets; others have a long way to go.

Table 11: The challenge of the Gershon efficiency programme

DEL total for 2007-08 set in SR 2004

£ million

Agreed "Gershon" efficiency target for 2007-08

£ million

(2) as a proportion of (1)


Average annual growth rate in SR 2004 in real terms from 2004-05 baseline (%)

Proportion of (2) reported as delivered by end of December 2006

Education and Skills
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
Home Office
Constitutional Affairs
Law Officers' Departments
Ministry of Defence
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
International Development
Trade and Industry
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Culture, Media and Sport
Work and Pensions
Northern Ireland Office
Chancellor's Departments
Cabinet Office
Local Government

Sources: SR 2004, Tables 7.1 (p 92), 8.1 (p 100), 9.1 (p 106), 10.1 (p 111), 12.2-12.4 (p 125), 13.1 (p 129), 14.1 (p 133), 15.1 (p 138), 16.1 (p 146), 17.1 (p 151), 18.1 (p 156), 19.1 (p 160), 20.1 (p 163), 21.1 (p 167), 22.1 (p 171), 11.1 (p 117), 2.1 (p 16), A.4 (p 185); Budget 2007, Table 6.1, p 145

Notes: (1) Now the Department for Communities and Local Government; (2) reported delivery relates only to Crown Prosecution Service in relation to original target of £34 million

63. In evidence to us in March 2007, Mr John Oughton, out-going Chief Executive of the Office of Government Commerce, stressed that the programme as a whole was on track:

the programme … is delivering broadly as we expected, namely that procurement would be the earliest area of gains, the easiest to measure, straight to cash off the bottom line as contracts were negotiated, and that some of the more substantial tasks that had to be undertaken, developing an approach to productive time, dealing with corporate services, the other Gershon workstreams, would take longer to plan. I would not say they are harder, they just take longer to plan and longer to invest in in order to deliver, but the benefits will still be contained within the three years of the programme.[128]

In January, the Chief Secretary noted the verdict of the National Audit Office that the Gershon efficiency programme had been "more serious and more systematic than previous attempts to achieve efficiency in government. We have seen real, serious, top level engagement in the programme across departments and in the centre of government."[129]

64. When we examined the Gershon programme during our Report on the 2006 Budget, we drew attention to the potential to carry forward the benefits of the programme into the Comprehensive Spending Review period.[130] In response, the Government confirmed that,

For the Comprehensive Spending Review, the Government will look to put in place an efficiency and value for money framework that builds on the success of the current programme while seeking to learn lessons and to make improvements where appropriate.[131]

In learning lessons from the Gershon programme and considering the proposed efficiency programme for the period of the Comprehensive Spending Review, it is important to bear in mind the limitations in the Gershon programme identified in our various Reports considering the programme and in the two Reports on the programme produced by the National Audit Office. The main limitations can be summarised as follows:

  • the transparency of the programme has been insufficient, particularly in the early stages of the programme, with inconsistencies and weaknesses in reporting by departments and with the decision of the Treasury prior to the 2007 Budget not to present an overall picture of departmental progress;[132]
  • there has been insufficient clarity about the extent to which savings are reported net of any investment costs associated with securing the efficiency savings and about the extent to which savings are cash-releasing;[133]
  • there have been a number of outstanding issues relating to measurement and verification, including a lack of clarity about the extent to which savings have been fully verified and audited;[134] and
  • in particular, there has been a lack of measurable and externally verifiable evidence to support the contention that all efficiency savings reported as delivered have been secured without a diminution in service quality.[135]

65. In each of these areas, there have been improvements in the course of the period of the Gershon efficiency programme. The Treasury and the Office of Government Commerce have provided more information about the progress of the programme as a whole, including information on progress by department and by theme.[136] More information is available about the extent to which savings reported are viewed as final and the Government has stated that it will undertake further work "to tackle the remaining measurement challenges during the final year of the programme, including by encouraging greater use of internal auditors and through further engagement with the NAO and the Audit Commission".[137] The Government has introduced a new reporting system which requires senior management in departments to sign off on the accuracy of reporting efficiencies and provide assurance that service quality has been maintained.[138] We have examined the extent to which these and other lessons from the Gershon efficiency programme were being carried forward in the design of efficiency measures within the Comprehensive Spending Review framework.

Setting efficiency targets

66. The monetary targets established for each department as part of the 2004 Spending Review arose from a dialogue between Sir Peter Gershon and individual departments. In many cases the savings were "offered" by the departments concerned, and in all cases they were agreed between Sir Peter and the departments concerned.[139] There were significant variations in the levels of the targets agreed with departments. Some departments, such as the Home Office, exceeded the broad departmental targets where the potential to go further existed.[140] Professor Colin Talbot drew attention to the extent of the variation in departmental targets as a proportion of departmental budgets in evidence to our predecessors.[141] The third column of figures in Table 11 shows efficiency targets as a proportion of total annual budgets for departments in 2007-08 as set in the 2004 Spending Review. Those targets vary from 1.2% in the case of the Cabinet Office to 17.3% in the case of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

67. In the 2006 Pre-Budget Report, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that, "for the years to 2011, I have reached agreement with Secretaries of State for net efficiency savings in their overall budgets of 3% a year".[142] Professor Talbot pointed out this apparent across-the-board approach to efficiency savings was in sharp contrast with the approach of the Gershon programme and that the reasons for the different approach were unexplained.[143] The Chief Secretary argued that this across-the-board approach was justified:

I think what we have seen through the Gershon Efficiency Programme and analysis that we have been doing over the last few weeks is that there is a potential, through really building in a culture of efficiency, to achieve that level of value for money savings in each department over the CSR period and for that to be a minimum. There may well be departments—I hope there will be—who are able to go further in the CSR period and, in so doing, release resources that they can then apply to their priorities, but I am confident that each department will be able to achieve at least the 3% level, and I think that will be very important as part of achieving a successful CSR round.[144]

He argued that having clear overall targets would have the same value as the specific targets of the Gershon period in "galvanising departments and assisting them to produce big value for money savings".[145]

68. In its first study of the Gershon efficiency programme the National Audit Office noted that the overall target of £21.5 billion excluded most investment costs necessary to achieve the savings, in part because some such up-front capital investment was begun before the programme began. The study argued that, without additional investment costs being matched against gains, the £21.5 billion target overestimated the efficiency gains that would actually be achieved by 2007-08.[146] In its second study, the National Audit Office noted:

departments have not been persuaded to go further than the letter of the Gershon Review in relation to reporting efficiency gains net of additional ongoing costs. Although OGC measurement guidance recognises that accounting for additional ongoing costs arising from reforms is best practice, only four out of the 10 departments contributing most to the £21.5 billion target try to subtract such costs from their reported savings.[147]

The Gershon programme was not designed so as to provide that all efficiency savings delivered led to a direct benefit to the bottom line. Sir Peter Gershon's initial estimate was that over 60% of the savings targeted would be cash-releasing,[148] although savings which were not cash-releasing would contribute towards meeting the overall target of £21.5 billion annual savings by 2007-08.

69. In the 2006 Pre-Budget Report, the Government announced that the focus of the value for money programme within the Comprehensive Spending Review period would be on delivering net cashable savings.[149] In the 2007 Budget, the Government went further, making it explicit that "all of the savings delivered under the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review value for money programme will be net of implementation costs and cash-releasing".[150] The Chief Secretary made the Treasury's approach clear:

We will build into the CSR plans, when they are published, assumptions about each department having achieved at least the 3% level of savings, and that will be taken account of in announcing how much each department has to spend in each year of the CSR period; but, of course, if departments are able to go further and make additional savings (and it may well be during course of the CSR they will identify ways to do that), then, yes, they will be able to use those savings in ways that they decide.[151]

70. Professor Talbot characterised the new targets as involving "a massive step change in the amount of money which is supposed to be saved in efficiency savings". While over 60% of the Gershon efficiency savings were intended to be cash-releasing, all the efficiency savings from 2008-09 are required to be cash-releasing.[152] The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in oral evidence to us on the 2007 Budget, appeared to accept that the new targets could be seen as more stretching than the variable efficiency targets set out in the Gershon review, many of which were not set net of implementation costs.[153]

71. The Government has set out targets for a highly ambitious value for money programme for the period covered by the Comprehensive Spending Review. The targets set for the period covered by the 2004 Spending Review were varied to reflect an assessment by Sir Peter Gershon of each department's capacity to secure efficiency savings. The Government is now adopting a different approach, imposing a minimum requirement to meet an annual target of savings of 3% of total departmental budget on an across-the-board basis for all departments.

72. We note the Government's decision to require all savings during the period from 2008-09 to 2010-11 to be net of implementation costs and cash-releasing. We expect the Government to put in place measures to ensure that this is reflected in the framework for verification and reporting. In particular, we recommend that the Government clarify, at the time the final outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review is announced, the reporting requirements relating to implementation costs, indicating whether standard accounting conventions will be used for identifying and distributing such costs.

The framework for monitoring and reporting

73. Lead responsibility for implementing the Gershon Efficiency Review was given to John Oughton, the then Chief Executive of the Office of Government Commerce, working closely with the Treasury and reporting directly to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Prime Minister. An efficiency team was established within the Office of Government Commerce. That team was responsible for assuring the quality of departments' implementation plans and their capacity to implement them, and was also charged with supporting and challenging departments more generally.[154]

74. The Office of Government Commerce has been instrumental in securing gradual improvements to the measurement and reporting framework for the efficiency programme, and the National Audit Office has praised and supported its work.[155] The Office of Government Commerce has brought about a greater involvement for senior management in departments in signing off efficiency gains and has encouraged a greater use of audit, both internal and external.[156] The Chief Secretary told us:

This process has been very closely monitored by the Office of Government Commerce in collaboration with the National Audit Office. They have set very demanding measures of quality of service and they are tracking those to make sure that there is not a fall-off in service as a result of the implementation of the efficiency measures.[157]

75. In January 2007, the Government announced that responsibility for monitoring the efficiency programme would be moved from the Office of Government Commerce to the Treasury:

Establishing the 2004 Spending Review efficiency programme on a sound footing and ensuring its delivery has been one of the OGC's major achievements over the past two years. But going forward there needs to be a closer link between efficiency and financial controls. The OGC's success means that the Government can now mainstream efficiency as part of routine departmental financial management. As a result, responsibility for efficiency will transfer from the OGC to the Treasury later this year.[158]

Mr Oughton gave a similar account of the reasoning when he appeared before us in his last week in post:

The challenge now is to assess whether efficiency is now in the mainstream of how departments conduct their business planning and undertake their tasks. To be frank two and a half years ago when the programme started this was new territory for most departments and it was clear when they developed their plans that they were struggling to identify how to address the task. I am much more confident now that this is part of the routine, it is part of the mainstream of what departments do, and that gives us the confidence that we can mainstream the approach to efficiency for the next spending review into the normal financial control mechanisms of the Treasury … The Government's direction of the Efficiency Programme will be extremely strong. It will be handled by the Public Spending Directorate in the Treasury so I think the mechanisms and levers will be as strong in the future as they are now.[159]

76. The Chief Secretary indicated that the Government accepted that there would remain a challenge in measuring efficiency, particularly in judging whether service quality had been maintained from the perspective of the customer:

I think that is going to be quite an important challenge across public services through the CSR years, to establish precisely that. That is why we will, in the new performance management framework before the CSR period, be making greater use of subjective measures, of user feedback, of user surveys and so on, so that we can track precisely what is happening in the perceptions of users for the services we are offering … From our point of view, what is essential is that we have actual information about customer feedback so that we can make the kind of judgements we need to make. There is no value from the departments' point of view, or from ministers' point of view in having inaccurate information.[160]

77. The efficiency programme established in 2004 represented a significant change in the Government's approach to efficiency issues. In the words of Professor Talbot, "so-called efficiency savings have traditionally been treated by Treasury simply as reductions in departmental budgets and have not been measured at all".[161] The Gershon efficiency programme involved a government agency outside the Treasury mainstream in supporting and monitoring the programme and involved efficiency savings which did not need to show on the bottom line. There are signs of a reversion to a more traditional Treasury approach in the future, with efficiency matters being part of "routine departmental financial management" overseen by the Treasury's Public Spending Directorate, and with all efficiency savings intended to be cash-releasing.

78. Even though the Government has established the principle that all efficiency savings from 2008-09 onwards should be cash-releasing, we are not convinced that monitoring and support from within the Treasury will be sufficient. We recommend that the Government ensure that a clearer performance measurement framework is established for the efficiency programme from 2008-09 onwards, including a greater role for external audit of service quality than hitherto. We further recommend that the Government ensure that a coherent framework for the verification and reporting of savings on a consistent basis is established as part of the post-2008 programme and that the Government set out the details of such a framework in publishing the final outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review. We consider it essential that these arrangements include regular summaries of departmental achievements against targets in each Budget and Pre-Budget Report.

The Civil Service workforce and administration budgets

79. In addition to the overall targets for efficiency savings measured in monetary terms and set as part of the 2004 Spending Review, departments were also set targets at that time for reductions in the Civil Service workforce—and for military posts in administrative and support functions in the case of the Ministry of Defence—arising out of the efficiency programme. The overall target was for a gross reduction of 84,150 posts by April 2008, with a net target of 70,600 posts and the remaining reduction accounted for by reallocation of staff to "front-line" tasks.[162] The Chancellor of the Exchequer told our predecessors at the time these reductions were announced:

We have accepted the numbers [of reductions in posts recommended by Sir Peter Gershon] until 2008—but he also said that to go further than that would put the delivery of public services at risk … Once these changes are made, I think people will know that that is the limit of what we are proposing for this period of time. I hope that, having made all these changes, other political parties will think twice about giving the impression or continuing to suggest that the public service workers who are doing the jobs should be made redundant, given Sir Peter's recommendation, following a great deal of work, that this is the limit that could be achieved until 2008.[163]

80. At the time of that Spending Review, the Government estimated that headcount reductions would account for between 10% and 15% of the overall financial targets for the efficiency programme.[164] The 2007 Budget stated that a gross reduction of 60,591 posts had been reported to December 2006, with 9,703 of that figure attributable to reallocations to "front-line" roles and 50,888 resulting from reductions.[165] At the time of our evidence on that Budget, Mr Oughton characterised the progress as "good", while acknowledging that "there are some remaining challenges", particularly those associated with those departments which had a significant amount of their headcount reduction target up to April 2008 still to achieve.[166]

81. Five main concerns about the workforce reduction element of the efficiency programme have been highlighted during our consideration of the programme in the course of this Parliament:

  • that the targets related to reductions attributable to the Gershon efficiency programme, and could be off-set by increases in Civil Service numbers arising from other developments, such as what are classified as new policy burdens;[167]
  • that there remained some unresolved measurement and verification issues, including the use of early baselines—so that reductions secured before the programme began could be scored against the final total;[168]
  • that there was no agreed definition of "front-line" posts, leading to uncertainty about net reductions attributed to re-allocation of civil servants to such posts;[169]
  • that an undue focus on headcount reductions could simply lead to a shift of resources from direct employment to the use of consultants;[170] and
  • that workforce reductions could have a direct and detrimental effect on service quality and delivery.[171]

Partly reflecting such concerns, we recommended in our Report on the 2006 Budget that, "in seeking to embed a culture of efficiency in Government departments during the period covered by the Comprehensive Spending Review, the Government places greater emphasis on delivering and reporting on targets for continued reductions in departmental administration budgets rather than on workforce reductions attributed to efficiency projects".[172]

82. In evidence to us in December 2006 on that year's Pre-Budget Report, the Chancellor of the Exchequer appeared to imply that further targets for Civil Service workforce reductions up to 2010-11 would be set:

As far as the jobs are concerned, we have published our figures for Civil Service job reductions and there are 85,000 job reductions going to take place; 45,000 jobs have gone and another 40,000 jobs are still to go. Obviously, for the years after 2008 we will publish figures later … There will be more jobs to go. I can assure you that in the next spending round, once we [have] met the Gershon targets, we will have to reduce Civil Service numbers further.[173]

83. The Chancellor of the Exchequer's assurance that Civil Service numbers would continue to fall up to 2010-11 was probably linked to his announcement made in the 2006 Pre-Budget Report that, "for the years to 2011, I have reached agreement with Secretaries of State … to cut their administration budgets by 5% a year" in real terms.[174]

84. In the 2004 Spending Review the Government also made a commitment to bear down on administration budgets. In the 2004 Budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the Spending Review would cap the administration costs of all departments at or below the 2005-06 nominal level, representing a real terms reduction of at least 5%.[175] The Security and Intelligence Agencies and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office were subsequently exempted from reductions at this level because of additional spending on "vital security needs".[176] The baseline for these reductions was the first year for which spending was available for allocation as part of the 2004 Spending Review; the Government did not follow its more general practice of using the last year preceding the period available for allocation under a Spending Review as the baseline for the purposes of determining increases or reductions in percentage terms. Also, at the time of the 2004 Spending Review, a number of changes were made to the classification of services, so that some expenditure that had been within administration budgets was moved outside into programme budgets, including the costs of immigration control and domestic security.[177]

85. The Chief Secretary indicated that further changes between administration budgets and programme budgets were unlikely:

I do not think there is very much scope for that. There is recognition of what counts as administration budgets and what does not. … It is not true that departments can willy-nilly change classifications.[178]

The Chief Secretary also indicated that he believed that the target of a 5% reduction a year in real terms in administration budgets in the years 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 was achievable:

We think it is important to do everything that we can to bear down on administration spending and to be more efficient, and I think we will be able to get to a position where administration spending actually counts for the lowest proportion of spending than it has done for a very long time as a result of these changes and spend less on administration and so release more for priority areas, programmes and others.[179]

He also implied that no exceptions would be made to the targets for reductions in administration budgets, not even for the Department for International Development which is likely to see a sharply rising overall budget over the period.[180]

86. To place the ambition implied in annual real terms reductions in administration budgets of 5% in 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 in context, Table 12 sets out the current expectations of the annual average rate of growth of administration budgets over the preceding three years covered by the 2004 Spending Review.

Table 12: Administration budgets by departmental group, 2004-05 to 2007-08, £ million

2004-05 outturn

2005-06 outturn

2006-07 estimated outturn

2007-08 plans
Average annual growth rate in SR 2004 period in real terms

Education and Skills
CLG Communities
Home Office
Constitutional Affairs
Law Officers' Departments
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
International Development
Trade and Industry
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Culture, Media and Sport
Work and Pensions
Northern Ireland Office
Chancellor's Departments
Cabinet Office
Total administration budgets

Source: PESA 2007, Tables 1.9 and F2, pp 18 and 210

The 2004 Spending Review did not establish targets for real terms reductions in administration budgets during the period covered by that Review as a whole, but it did envisage a general downward trend from 2005-06 across departments, other than the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Security and Intelligence Agencies. It is apparent from Table 12 that the imposition of a consistent downward trend on administration budgets across all departments during the period from 2008-09 to 2010-11 will be a departure from the likely pattern in the preceding Spending Review period.

87. We remain to be convinced about the value of further, explicit targets for reductions in Civil Service numbers for the period covered by the Comprehensive Spending Review. The Government's highly ambitious target for reductions in all departmental administration budgets of 5% a year in real terms over the period from 2008-09 to 2010-11 is likely to exert downward pressure on Civil Service numbers. A separate target for Civil Service reductions runs the risk of distorting the efficiency programme, encouraging the replacement of civil servants with external consultants who may prove more expensive. If further targets for reductions in Civil Service numbers are adopted, we recommend that such targets be set with a clear and consistent baseline and that progress against targets be measured using statistics on Civil Service numbers compiled by the Office for National Statistics from 1 April 2008 onwards. We further recommend that any such targets be based solely on actual numbers serving in each department, so that re-allocations to "front-line" posts and increases related to what are classified as policy measures, both of which are open to subjective interpretation, are not treated as relevant to the performance against targets.

123   Releasing the resources, paras 1.20-1.21, p 12 Back

124   Sir Peter Gershon CBE, Releasing resources to the front line: Independent Review of Public Sector Efficiency, July 2004 Back

125   Ibid, para 3.3 and Table 4.1 pp 21, 30 Back

126   SR 2004, paras 2.5-2.9 and Table 2.1, pp 15-16 Back

127   HC (2003-04) 906-i and ii, Q 43 Back

128   HC (2006-07) 389-II, Q 224 Back

129   Q 38 Back

130   HC (2005-06) 994-I, paras 77-79 Back

131   Treasury Committee, Fourth Special Report of Session 2005-06, The 2006 Budget: Government Response to the Committee's Fourth Report of Session 2005-06, HC 1472, p 8 Back

132   HC (2005-06) 994-I, para 76; HC (2006-07) 115, paras 46-47 Back

133   HC (2005-06) 994-I, paras 72-76 Back

134   National Audit Office, Progress in improving Government efficiency, February 2006, HC (2005-06) 801-I, p 5; HC (2006-07) 115, para 47 Back

135   HC (2005-06) 994-I, paras 73-74; HC (2006-07) 115, paras 50-51 Back

136   HC (2006-07) 389-I, paras 72-73 Back

137   Budget 2007, para 6.19, p 146 Back

138   National Audit Office, The Efficiency Programme: A Second Review of Progress, February 2007, HC (2006-07) 156-I, Executive Summary, paras 8 and 11, p 6 Back

139   Treasury Sub-Committee, Uncorrected transcript of oral evidence on 16 May 2007, Qq 224, 262; Releasing resources to the front-line, para 4.1, p 29 Back

140   Releasing resources to the front line, para 3.4, p 22 Back

141   HC (2003-04) 906-i and ii, Ev 52-53 Back

142   HC Deb, 6 December 2006, col 314 Back

143   HC (2006-07) 115, Ev 79 Back

144   Q 20 Back

145   Q 29 Back

146   HC (2005-06) 802-I, para 1.15 and Figure 10, pp 19, 20 Back

147   National Audit Office, The Efficiency Programme: A Second Review of Progress, HC (2006-07) 156-I, February 2007, para 4.3, p 26 Back

148   Releasing resources to the front line, para 3.5, p 23 Back

149   Pre-Budget Report 2006, para 6.26, p 142 Back

150   Budget 2007, para 6.24, p 147 Back

151   Q 21 Back

152   HC (2006-07) 389-II, Q 93 Back

153   Ibid, Qq 368-369 Back

154   Releasing resources to the front line, paras 4.8-4.10, p 32 Back

155   HC (2006-07) 156-I, Executive Summary, para 11, p 6 Back

156   See paragraph 65. Back

157   Q 30 Back

158   HM Treasury, Transforming government procurement, January 2007, para 2.17, p 20 Back

159   HC (2006-07) 389-II, Qq 229, 231 Back

160   Qq 86-87 Back

161   HC (2003-04) 906-i and ii, Ev 50 Back

162   HC (2005-06) 994-I, para 78 Back

163   HC (2003-04) 906-i and ii, Q 245 Back

164   Ibid, Q 84 Back

165   Budget 2007, Table 6.2, p 146 Back

166   HC (2006-07) 389-II, Q 232 Back

167   HC (2005-06) 739, para 75 Back

168   National Audit Office, The Efficiency Programme: A Second Review of Progress, February 2007, HC (2006-07) 156-I, Executive Summary, para 9, p 6 Back

169   Ibid  Back

170   HC (2005-06) 994-I, para 79 Back

171   Ev 72 Back

172   HC (2005-06) 994-I, para 79 Back

173   HC (2006-07) 115, Qq 383, 385 Back

174   HC Deb, 6 December 2006, col 312; Pre-Budget Report 2006, para 6.29, p 143 Back

175   Budget 2004, para 6.14, p 133; SR 2004, para 2.18, p 21 Back

176   SR 2004, para 2.18, p 21 Back

177   Ibid, para 2.17, p 20; HC (2003-04) 906-i and ii, Q 103 Back

178   Q 22 Back

179   Ibid Back

180   Q 48 Back

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