Local councils are on track to beat the efficiency targets set by the Gershon review, new government figures show.
Figures released by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister show actual efficiency gains of more than £750m in 2004-05. This puts councils on track to exceed the £1bn target for 2005-06, with total efficiency gains of £1.9bn, the government office said.
IT development has been a key part of the measures adopted by councils to meet the targets, with greater use of e-government to offer “citizen self-service” via websites. Many councils are also transforming backroom functions and other areas of work through IT.
An ODPM spokesman said, “We're pleased that the annual efficiency statements show signs of new technology being used to delivery efficiency gains for local government and better services for residents, following significant investment by the ODPM in the e-government programme.
“The e-government programme has laid the foundations for local government to learn how new technology can benefit service delivery and we are pleased that we starting to see the benefits of this.”
Kate Mountain, chief executive of the Society of Information and Technology Management, said, “IT managers can now see some secondary benefits arising from e-government programmes in efficiencies. Transforming services through greater use of IT will make a difference in future years.”