Efficiency Technical Notes
In delivering its Efficiency Plan the Department will:
- Realise total annual efficiency gains of £53.0 million by 2007/08.
- £27.1 million of this total will be in resource releasing efficiencies.
- Reduce the total number of its civil service posts by 82 by 2007/08.
- Improve procurement of training and employment provision through revised contractual arrangements.
- Free up resources through reductions in the cost of the Department, it’s Non Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) and other sponsored bodies by reducing costs, simplifying systems and better procurement.
- Realise efficiencies in the funding of student grants and awards.
- Consider alternative approaches to service provision.
The Department will use a range of sources to measure efficiency gains. Financial information will be drawn mainly from the Department’s Oracle 11i Financial System. The Internal Audit Service will also pay a key role in validating progress against targets.
All statistical data collected by or on behalf of the Department relating to higher and further education is quality assured using National Statistics (NS) Guidelines where appropriate. This applies to all annual datasets provided to all UK administrations by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). These protocols are set out in the National Statistics website at www.statistics.gov.uk . HESA is a non-government organisation (a company limited by guarantee) and provides statistics to all 4 regional administrations to National Statistics standards. Higher Education data is available on applicants using the UCAS system, enrolments, qualifications gained and destinations of leavers from higher education institutions.
In relation to further education the Department has a more direct link with the colleges as data is collected at local level rather than national, but again National Statistics guidance is followed. The guidance covers all aspects of data collection and uses a rolling review process to monitor collections and ensure continuous improvement. The datasets themselves are held securely on a partitioned network drive accessible only to analytical services staff. The data is held at individual level and goes through a rigorous validation process before it is signed off.
The Department is continually seeking to increase the quality and coverage of the data available to it and continues to work closely with the institutions and other stakeholders to develop existing services.
Achieving Efficiency Gains
In parallel to this Technical Note, we are ensuring that the steps to deliver the efficiency gains are properly integrated into the Department’s delivery programmes. Much of this is about ensuring that the plans deliver and monitor the efficiency gains already implicit in their objectives.
Further information about the Department’s Efficiency Plans can be obtained from Dale Heaney on telephone number 028 9025 7621, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org .