Auditor warns £35bn Whitehall savings off target
WHITEHALL departments are unlikely to come up with the £35bn of annual savings as planned, government auditors have warned.
The National Audit Office said the savings programme initiated by the Treasury would fall short.
The NAO reviewed the savings so far of five major departments, including the Home Office and the Ministry of Defence, which totalled £2.8bn.
unsuitable baselines and difficulties in demonstrating links between savings and performance.
NAO chief Amyas Morse said: “Public confidence in reported savings is undermined where they do not stand up to external scrutiny.
“The proportion which do not fully meet the Comprehensive Spending Review criteria is evidence both that the programme was not well enough understood across government and that quality control was not good enough.
“Few of the savings made under the programme represent major departures from previous practice. The scale of savings needed in the current financial situation means that departments will have to think more radically about how to reduce costs and how to sustain them in the longer term.”
The 2007 CSR said departmental savings should be cashable, sustainable and have a neutral impact on service quality.