§ Mr. Tim Smith
asked the Prime Minister if she will set out the steps taken to date by each Government Department towards implementing the reports of Rayner scrutinies; and if she will make a statement on the progress made by each Department.
§ The Prime Minister
[pursuant to her reply, 19 December 19831: There have so far been about200 scrutinies and reviews conducted in about 130 Government Departments and containing several thousand recommendations. Information on the implementation of scrutinies is made available from time to time but assembling the information asked for by my hon. Friend would represent a major research task. Nevertheless, it is clear from the reports I receive that substantial progress has been made in carrying through the Government's work in more efficient and cost effective ways as a result of scrutinies and similar operations. More of course can and must be done if the Government's aims of improving management, reducing costs and increasing the effectiveness of policies is to bear fruit in the prudent use of national resources.
Responsibility for following through the recommendations of any particular scrutiny rests with my right hon. Friends in charge of the Departments concerned though and they are assisted in these matters by my efficiency adviser, Sir Robin Ibbs, by my noble Friend Lord Gowrie representing me in day-to-day charge of the Management and Personnel Office of the Cabinet Office and by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.