Money-saving scheme cost taxpayers £4m

picAn attempt to save money by making government departments share back-office services ended up costing the taxpayer £4 million, the Commons spending watchdog has said.

Government officials had hoped to save £400 million a year by asking departments to use a common supplier for their human resources, payroll and accounts services.

However, the scheme has cost £94 million and saved only £90 million, according to the Commons public accounts committee.

The cross-party committee said that there were “ongoing failures of leading and governance” that needed to be fixed in order to deliver significant savings. Meg Hillier, the Labour chairwoman of the PAC, said: “Each department was able to request multiple changes which led to big cost increases.”

The Cabinet Office said issues with the programme were being addressed.

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