Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : £150 Million Fund to Support Joined-Up Government [August 1998]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 13 August 1998.

A new £150 million fund to support innovative projects which provide services to the public in a more efficient and co- ordinated way has been announced today by the Chief Secretary, Stephen Byers.

Funds from the Invest to Save Budget (ISB) will be available to Government Departments to promote joined-up government. Examples of projects which the ISB might support include:

  • ‘one stop shops’ enabling the public to deal with more than one agency at a time, such as the Lewisham Council project integrating benefits administered by the Department of Social Security and local authorities;
  • joint projects involving an increase in the proportion of business done with the public via electronic means, for example by expanding the services available on the Internet.  The newly self-employed can, by the completion of a single form on the Internet, simultaneously transmit to Inland Revenue, Customs and Excise and the Contributions Agency all relevant starting details;
  • the co-location of agencies at local level, for example, to share overhead costs; or
  • combining services into packages which make access to Government easier.  Brent Council has streamlined its service delivery by introducing an award winning, single access point (one stop shop) for all enquiries and services.  During 1998, Brent also plans to further develop its current pilot on-line enquiry form available on the Internet and also to extend the operating hours of its innovative telephone call centre thus consolidating its approach to achieving 24 hour, ‘convenient’ access to Council information, advice and services for people who want or need to contact Brent Council

Announcing the ISB, Mr Byers said:

“We intend to provide a better service and save money at the same time.  For too long Government has been remote and detached from individual members of the public.  This has to change.  Our Invest to Save Budget  will be real joined-up government in action providing more efficient and accessible services to the public.

“The aim of the ISB is to ensure public services are delivered in a more coherent way and that different parts of government work closer together.  By breaking down barriers between Government Departments we will be able to provide members of the public with a far better service.  The decisions on the allocation of the fund will be taken jointly by Treasury and Cabinet Office which in itself is an example of joined-up government in action.”

£150 million pounds will be available to promote such projects over the next three years with £20 million available in the first year in 1999-2000.

The Treasury has issued guidance inviting Government Departments to come forward with imaginative proposals for the first £20 million.  In subsequent years the range of those invited to bid will be broadened to include bodies from the wider public sector.

The proposals which are successful in the first bidding round will be announced in Autumn 1998.