Government launches new public bodies review programme

The Cabinet Office has published guidance which will inform departments how to review their public bodies over the next five years.

Arm’s length bodies now spend over £220 billion a year and employ over 300,000 people. The Public Bodies Review Programme delivers on commitments made in the Declaration on Government Reform to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of public bodies and will look to identify a minimum of five per cent savings for each organisation.

Departments will be asked to review their public bodies to: assess whether a function should be delivered by the State, or whether an alternative is more fitting; ensure public bodies have a ‘laserlike’ focus on delivering their objectives, and are not making decisions which fall under the remit of ministers; reduce the burden on the taxpayer as the increased pressures of the pandemic on the public purse come to an end; and spend taxpayer money with greater care and ensure performance, expenditure and other data is shared openly.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency, said: “Taxpayer’s money should be spent efficiently and on worthwhile areas. It’s right then that we should always look at public organisations and whether they are delivering for the British people.”

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