An opportunity for improvement

Last week, HM Tresury published a short pamphlet entitled, Managing taxpayers' money wisely: commitment to action. You can get a copy of it from here. The pamphlet is a statement of intent that the government will adopt in its financial management.

It says that there are four enablers for improving the government's financial management:
  • effective leadership;
  • a cost-conscious culture;
  • professionalism; and 
  • expert central functions.

Now I suppose it doesn't do any harm for senior managers in any organization to state clearly to every one in the organization what is expected of them. I do hope, though, that in January 2011, more than thirty years since the beginning of reforms aimed at making public servants financially-responsible for their services, that these requirements are not news to anyone.

One could infer from the publication of this pamphlet and the statement in the foreword by Justine Greening MP that it is ‘the foundation for a forthcoming Finance Transformation Programme across central government,’ that central government's management of six hundred-odd billion pounds of public money every year is not all that it might be. Perhaps she might be interested in buying a few thousand copies of my book!