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Cabinet Office functional savings

Inquiry

Government established cross-cutting central functional teams, or ‘functions’, in 2013. These seek to provide expert skills across Government while increasing efficiency. In July 2023, the Cabinet Office reported that the functions had achieved £4.4bn of financial savings.

A National Audit Office (NAO) report found that the Cabinet Office has not consistently reported the efficiency savings delivered by the functions, which use different approaches to calculate their savings. The Government Internal Audit Agency gave the savings achieved by the functions a ‘moderate’ assurance rating overall, but found some weaknesses in the functions’ approaches.

The Committee’s ‘Efficiency in Government’ report found in 2021 that attempts to improve efficiency can risk inadvertently reducing the quality of services, or increasing costs elsewhere.

Based on the NAO report, the Committee will take evidence from senior officials from the Cabinet Office and Treasury, with likely subjects including:

• How the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury measure financial efficiency savings;

• The wider benefits or adverse effects from efficiency savings in other parts of government;

• How government will ensure consistency, clarity, and transparency in how it reports functional savings.

If you have evidence on these issues, please submit it here by 23:59 on Friday 22 December 2023.

Please look at the requirements for written evidence submissions and note that the Committee cannot accept material as evidence that is published elsewhere.