Government departments have been set targets for implementing efficiency gains of GBP 21.5 billion a year by 2007-08, as part of the Treasury's Efficiency Programme following on from the recommendations of the "Gershon Review" of public sector efficiency, published in July 2004. This NAO report examines the progress made towards improving efficiency and highlights examples of good practice from which departments and the wider public sector can learn. A companion volume of case studies is available separately (HCP 802-II, session 2005-06, ISBN 0102937095). The report finds that good progress is being made towards achieving the GBP 21.5 billion target and departments are managing their efficiency programmes well. However, some caution is needed in assessing the gains reported so far (due to the time lags in reporting of data and limitations in measurement methodologies) and therefore these should be considered provisional and subject to further verification. Six key areas are highlighted for future improvements in public sector efficiency, including in relation to strategic leadership, staff expertise and greater collaboration to share good practice across the public sector.
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