The Public Service Agreement provides a framework for public service management and staff to work together to deliver an ongoing reduction in the cost of delivery of public services, while maintaining or improving the quality of services delivered to the public, in return for commitments on pay and security of employment for public servants.
The Implementation Body has been charged with driving the implementation of the Agreement across all sectors and ensuring that early, robust and verifiable changes are secured. The Body requested that they be informed on the changes proposed by public service management to achieve such efficiencies and savings in each sector in the form of Action Plans. Public Service Departments and Offices were asked to report on:
- Cost saving proposals
- Proposals which relate not only to improved services for citizens & business but also to maintaining services as appropriate in the context of significantly less staff.
- Proposals which may avoid costs being incurred in the delivery of public services
Action Plans were revised to take account of the Government’s four year National Recovery Plan, the approved Budgets for 2011 and the Government’s Programme for reforming public services including the requirement to reduce numbers employed by 25,000 by 2014 and reduce non-pay Budgets by on average 10% this year. Individual Action Plans are available on the websites of Departments, Offices and Agencies.
It is expected that these plans may be further revised later this year to reflect the outcomes of the Comprehensive Expenditure Review, the Government’s plans for public service reform and budgetary strategy.
All Sectors, Departments, Office and Agencies were instructed to provide Progress Reports on their Action Plans including details of actual savings, costs avoided, improved and reformed services and internal efficiencies. The first set of Progress and Savings Reports were submitted to the Implementation Body in May 2011 as part of the first annual Review of the Agreement. Individual Progress and Savings Reports are available on the websites of Departments, Offices and Agencies.
The next round of reporting from public service bodies on their progress in implementing their Action Plans is due in October 2011.