In a speech to the Institute for Fiscal Studies today (23 April) Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, announced that he has asked all central government departments to share spending information with the Treasury on a monthly basis and to identify around 5% of their resource budget that could be re-prioritised if new pressures emerge or new policies have to be funded.
Responding to the announcement Ian Carruthers, CIPFA’s Director of Policy and Technical said,
“We agree with the Chief Secretary's central message that good financial management is critical and should involve planning for the possibility that conditions may become much more difficult. The precarious position in the Eurozone remains a very serious risk.
“Delivering further savings equivalent to 5% of departmental budgets will be a very tall order. But it is more likely to be managed well and delivered successfully if realistic contingency plans have been laid.”
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Notes to Editors:
CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, is the professional body for people in public finance. Our 14,000 members work throughout the public services, in national audit agencies, in major accountancy firms, and in other bodies where public money needs to be effectively and efficiently managed. As the world’s only professional accountancy body to specialise in public services, CIPFA’s portfolio of qualifications are the foundation for a career in public finance. They include the benchmark professional qualification for public sector accountants as well as a postgraduate diploma for people already working in leadership positions. They are taught by our in-house CIPFA Education and Training Centre as well as other places of learning around the world. We also champion high performance in public services, translating our experience and insight into clear advice and practical services. They include information and guidance, courses and conferences, property and asset management solutions, consultancy and interim people for a range of public sector clients. Globally, CIPFA shows the way in public finance by standing up for sound public financial management and good governance. We work with donors, partner governments, accountancy bodies and the public sector around the world to advance public finance and support better public services. This includes the development of local professional qualifications in African countries like Lesotho and Nigeria and in Europe in post conflict states in the Balkans.