With national debt reduction as a key priority for Government, departments are experiencing a need for better financial discipline, the closure/curtailment of specific policy projects and programmes and a reduction in on-going operational costs.
This challenging context is combined with increasing demand for certain public services, as well as a policy emphasis on reducing the role of the state, be it by creating an environment where the voluntary sector delivers certain services, or delegating central regulatory and financial responsibilities to a regional level.
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In this environment, strengthening governance, increasing risk management and control measures, and putting tighter expenditure controls in place to tackle wasteful expenditure and fraud are significant initiatives. We are working closely with several central government departments and NDPBs advising on best practice in governance, risk management and control arrangements, to ensure that it is relevant and proportional to the needs of the organisation
The Cabinet Office is scrutinising major policy and delivery programmes. It is either intervening directly or expecting departments to seek their own assurance that these programmes are well funded, that cost efficiencies have been realised and that they have realistic prospects to be successfully delivered. We have specialist staff who understand the HM Treasury’s 5 stage business case model and have depth of experience in advising and assessing projects and programmes from initiation to completion.
Merger & consolidation
The abolition or amalgamation of NDPBs, with their roles being absorbed within mainstream Whitehall departments necessitates a significant understanding of the financial and broader standing of each of the organisations to provide a sound platform for them to be dissolved or merged. We can assist by drawing on our specialist experience of undertaking due diligence and related work in a public sector setting. This has included advisory work on merger and acquisition within the NHS and NHS foundation trusts, OSEL integration work drawing on multi-disciplinary team from the healthcare advisory team, Government Infrastructure and Advisory, audit and performance improvement practices.
Across Whitehall departments there is a focus on cost reductions and restructuring initiatives to improve value. This includes changes in organisational and management structures that are expected to result in significant staffing reductions. We draw on our experience of helping organisations remove costs from their support services and front-of-house services and offer strategic, operational, commercial and financial services to public entities across their full business lifecycle.