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Efficiency savings smash target
Over £830 million was saved through government efficiencies last year, according to figures published last week.
At 3.1 per cent, the savings far exceed the target of two per cent cash savings for 2008-09.
And Efficiency Delivery Plans published today show the public sector is on track to exceed this year's even higher target.
Finance Secretary John Swinney welcomed the news, commenting:
"Every part of the public sector must demonstrate maximum value for the public purse. Efficiencies deliver exactly the same high quality services at better value and I welcome today's figures that demonstrate we have made excellent progress for Scotland's taxpayers.
"The public sector saved over £830 million last year through improving procurement, sharing services and better use of resources - savings significantly higher than our original target.
"This Government's focus is on delivering high quality, frontline services and money freed up is already being reinvested for that purpose, in health boards and in local and central government. The efficiency programme targets are deliberately challenging and increasing this year and next - meeting or exceeding these is ever more crucial as we recover from recession and deal with the damaging effects of a cut to our budget by the UK Government."
The Efficient Government programme targets are to deliver efficiency gains of at least two per cent (£534.4 million) in 2008-09, four per cent (£1,068.8 million) in 2009-10 and six per cent (£1,603.2 million) in 2010-11 on the 2007-08 baseline.
The Delivery Plans provide information on the projects and how savings will be measured, monitored and delivered. Delivery Plans are regularly updated to reflect revisions to existing plans, include new plans and changes to portfolio efficiency targets resulting, for example, from budget transfers. Plans for 2009-10 and 2010-11 are subject to further changes.