Securing Value for Money through Scrutiny? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Securing Value for Money through Scrutiny?

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  1. Securing Value for Money through Scrutiny? Colin Talbot PROFESSOR OF GOVERNMENT UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER WWW.MANCHESTER.AC.UK/POLICY

  2. UK Getting and Spending Institutions OBR No.10 HM Treasury Parliament HMRC Cabinet Office (PSX) Public Accounts Cttee (PAC) Treasury Select Cttee Spending Departments NAO ‘Departmental’SelectCttees Agencies, NDPBs (Quangos) Public Corporations, etc Local Government, other local services

  3. Budgets and Parliament Ex-Ante Scrutiny Ex-Post Scrutiny (Oversight) PAC Supported by NAO Select Committee’s Increasingly also supported by NAO Scrutiny Unit NAO in its own right (VfM Studies) • Parliament • House of Commons (but severely limited by SO48 and procedure) • Select Committee’s • NB Not House of Lords • Office for Budget Responsibility

  4. Learning in Government? • Episodic, one-off, nature of many PAC (and NAO) enquiries means long-term learning is often missed. • Very little effort to accumulate knowledge over time • Exception: PAC report 2005 >

  5. PAC’s diagnosis “Despite signs of progress, however, in too many areas the Committee has seen too little progress over the last decade. In particular, the Committee continues to see cases of: • policies not being properly planned or thought through; • improvements not materialising or taking place slowly, despite promises; • failure to apply more widely the lessons learned in one part of the public sector; • the repetition of mistakes, even after the causes have been identified; • failure to exploit commercial opportunities; and • slow progress in making the most of opportunities offered by new developments in technology.”

  6. PAC’s Lessons “The [PAC] Committee has identified seven key areas which departments need to focus on if improvements in the delivery of public services and their efficiency are to be achieved: • • planning carefully prior to implementation; • strengthening project management; • reducing complexity and bureaucracy; • improving public service productivity; • being more commercially astute; • tackling fraud; • better and more timely implementation of policies and programmes.”

  7. A deficit of deliberation? • Ex post scrutiny inevitably only picks-up on major problems long after they’ve already happened. • Recent analysis of 12 big ‘blunders’ suggests a “deficit of deliberation” in policy choices • (King and Crewe, The Blunders of our Governments, 2013) • More ex ante scrutiny might help avoid such ‘blunders’ with the PAC (and other Select Committees) playing more of a role

  8. Debating the future The Politics of Public Spending: The Future of Scrutiny University of Manchester 2 October 2013 Robert Chote (OBR) Colin Talbot Margaret Hodge (PAC) Bernard Jenkin (PASC)