Headlines: July 16th, 2002

While the Spending Review White Paper sets out the Government’s spending plans for the next three years, the accompanying Public Service Agreements White Paper sets out the performance targets that departments committed themselves to meeting in exchange for the investment being made.In each area of public service delivery, the Government is tying resources to reform and results. Demanding targets have been set for each department, with independent audit and inspection to monitor progress. The Government says power is being devolved from the centre to frontline staff, giving them the power and flexibility to deliver.

Key public service reforms:

– a new Public Service Agreement for the Department of Health, setting out key delivery priorities for the NHS and social services.

– underperforming local authorities and prisons face being taken over

– poor performing schools will also be taken over

– more cash and freedom for high-performing institutions

– departments must meet higher standards or face budget cuts

– new Police standards and housing watchdogs to be created to boost standards

– confirmation of a new health and social care inspectorate.

For full details on either White Paper, or a summary, visit www.hm-treasury.gov.uk