When I first read in the Budget that the Government is spending $15 million over the next four years to help it identify savings, I remembered the Yes Minister episode when the Minister challenges Sir Humphrey on departmental spending on an efficiency review, which Sir Humphrey noted was absolutely essential and actually recommended increased spending!
While I doubt the Public Sector Renewal Program would recommend new spending measures, some may question whether it’s worthwhile spending an additional $15 million to identify savings. After all, isn’t that what Treasury should already be doing? Well of course Treasury should already be doing this, but from my experience Treasury officials are typically over-worked and lack the time to generate the detailed evidence that is required to produce winning briefs prosecuting savings measures. Thus some extra Government funding to produce the evidence for efficiency and savings measures is welcome. I expect this money would be used mainly to fund consultancies reviewing Government programs.