Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : Putting the frontline first – Smarter Government and Technology [December 2009]

The press release issued by 10 Downing Street on 7 December 2009.

The Prime Minister has outlined plans for improving frontline services, increasing Government efficiency, and using technology to help hospitals, schools and police forces get better value for money.

During a speech titled “Putting the frontline first: Smarter Government”, Gordon Brown said identifying more efficient  ways of working will deliver savings in excess of £12 billion over the next four years, including £3 billion of new efficiency savings identified since the budget.

The PM said the UK is now entering the third generation of public services where power will shift to the users of public services.

He said every citizen from next year will have access to information on the performance of public services including hospitals and schools. And within five years, the Government also plans to shift the majority of large transactional services online.

“This increased transparency and accountability will enable citizens to compare local services, lobby for improvements, choose providers and demand changes in service delivery – with the web as a powerful new tool for sharing customer experience – in the same way that social networking sites provoke debate and discussion and mobilise opinion.”

Mr Brown said the goal was to make government and institutions both responsible and responsive to the British people.

  • During the speech the PM also announced plans to:
  • Cut the senior civil service pay bill by up to 20 per cent over three years to release savings of £100 million a year.
  • Halve Whitehall spending on consultancy, and reduce spending on marketing by a quarter – in total, an annual saving of £650 million.
  • Merge or abolish 123 government arms length bodies with the remainder subjected to greater oversight, with a view to save a further £500 million a year.
  • Relocate more staff outside London and the south east.