APPENDIX B DESCRIPTION OF TASK
To identify scope for realignment of budgets across the portfolios of the Executive.
The group of reviewers, including a Lead Reviewer, worked largely independently but shared results and practices, through the Lead Reviewer.
Using 2005-06 budgets, the Group undertook a review of the Scottish Executive budget (at the level of larger programmes, such as Youth Justice and Children's Hearings or the Affordable Housing Investment Programme, i.e. level 3), to identify any programmes that do not fit with the Executive's commitments and priorities or are not performing well. This is complementary to the Efficient Government Initiative.
The exercise is about the expenditure in the Scottish Block - the Executive's Departmental Expenditure Limit for 2005-06 is £22,811 million. This is broken down to over 300 level 3 budgets. The review did not include the unhypothecated local government expenditure.
The remit for the review was:
- To classify spending into categories:
- Statutory spending ( EU, UK or Scottish legislation);
- Related to Partnership Agreement commitments;
- Related to Partnership Agreement priorities; and
- To consider the performance and outcomes of the programmes, based on a performance assessment rating tool.
- To identify those programmes that do not match with the Partnership Agreement priorities or are not performing well, and, where appropriate, propose action - from stopping funding to redesigning to improve outcomes.
- To identify the implications of any proposed change.
Key Milestones, Outputs and Timescale
Following an initial meeting with the Ministers for Finance and Public Service Reform, the Reviewers met with Portfolio Ministers and Heads of Department.
Interim findings were reported at meetings with individual Portfolio Ministers and Heads of Departments on each portfolio in January/February 11 2006. The Review aimed to produce a final report of proposals by end April 12 2006 for the Ministers for Finance and Public Service Reform.
The initial remit was to produce a report by the end of February, however the evidence gathering stage took longer than anticipated and, therefore, the timetable was extended.