Press release -

HM Treasury (National): Government announces new steps to strengthen financial discipline in the public sector

The Government has today published further details of a new Finance Transformation Programme which will make financial implications inherent to every decision taken in the public sector. The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Justine Greening, set out the foundations for this programme at the Government Finance Profession’s annual training event, and these are published today in Managing Taxpayers’ Money Wisely.

Following commitments in the Programme for Government and the Spending Review Framework, as well as consultation with stakeholders, Managing Taxpayers’ Money Wisely sets out four key areas of focus for the Finance Transformation Programme:

* effective leadership, driving performance from the top;

* a cost conscious culture so that every decision is built on informed financial assessment;

* professionalism so that all public servants demonstrate financial awareness;

* expert central functions – ensuring a coherent approach to financial management from the centre of government.

The Treasury will oversee and reinforce these commitments, with updates on the Finance Transformation Programme – and its related activities – available on the HM Treasury website.

The initial focus of the programme will be on developing expert central functions and driving professionalism.

Justine Greening MP, said:

“We’ve got to get a grip on the public finances, but to do that across the public sector we’ve got to drive through a real change in culture. That means becoming more financially disciplined, commercial, adaptable and innovative at all levels when it comes to spending taxpayers’ hard earned money. The Finance Transformation Programme will mark a step change in the way that resources are managed by public servants, and Managing Taxpayers’ Money Wisely sets out the framework for how we will make sure that happens.”

Notes for Editors

1. The Economic Secretary to the Treasury announced the Finance Transformation Programme at the Government Finance Profession’s annual training event on 12 November 2010.

2. Managing Taxpayers’ Money Wisely can be found here:

3. The paper addresses commitments made in the Coalition’s Programme for Government. The section on deficit reduction emphasises the need for prompt action and one of the commitments made is “We will create strong financial discipline at all levels of government and place an obligation on public servants to manage taxpayers’ money wisely.”

4. Strengthening financial discipline is taken forward further in section 2.8 of the Spending Review Framework, which, in summary, referred to the following:

* re-positioning and strengthening finance directors in government;

* providing a long term financial management strategy;

* introducing financial performance measures and improving risk management; and

* increasing the quality, transparency and accountability of financial information.

The Spending Review Framework can be found here:

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