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Cabinet Office sets out how Whitehall departments should review their public bodies

The Cabinet Office has published guidance which will inform Whitehall departments how to review their public bodies.

The Public Bodies Review Programme states that 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”
  • spend taxpayer money with greater care and ensure performance, expenditure and other data is shared openly

Arm’s length bodies now spend over £220 billion a year and employ over 300,000 people, the Cabinet Office said.

It added that it was expected that reviews would deliver average savings of at least 5%, or one in every twenty pounds spent, across the public bodies under review.

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Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency Jacob Rees-Mogg 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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