Government implements saving ideas submitted through the Spending Challenge
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Published on 10 September 2010
The Government announced today that three ideas submitted to the Spending
Challenge by members of the public and public sector workers will be implemented
as policy by the Government. These are the first to be introduced and will help
the Government reduce the deficit.
The three ideas are examples of how the common-sense suggestions, submitted
to the Government through the Spending Challenge website, can make savings for
the taxpayer and help the Government reduce the deficit and rebalance the
The three ideas being introduced are:
1. To reduce the number of CRB checks for Junior Doctors, by taking a more
common- sense approach across the NHS, so that junior doctors are not checked
repeatedly over a short space of time. This will save up to a £1 million a year
and cut administrative burdens for the NHS;
2. To distribute National Insurance numbers to people with a letter rather
than a plastic card, saving Government up to a £1 million per year;
3. Increase the selling of surplus and second hand Government equipment by
expanding the use of the MoDs eDisposals service for use across all Government
departments and the piloting of an online auction site.
All of these ideas were submitted through the Government’s Spending Challenge
website. The Government has received over 100,000 ideas through the Spending
Challenge. Over 63,000 have come from public sector employees and the rest from
the general public website.
Speaking after meeting some of the people who submitted these ideas, the
Chancellor George Osborne MP, said:
“These are the people’s ideas. Over 100,000 suggestions have been put to us
and now we’re starting to put some of them into practice. In doing so, we are
directly tapping the experience of those working in the frontline of public
services instead of assuming Ministers in Whitehall have all the answers.
“No one idea will solve the problems we face, but taken together they can
make a real contribution to reducing the deficit and rebalancing the country’s
economy at a crucial time. People’s ideas will have a real impact on the tough
Other ideas submitted through the Spending Challenge are being considered by
the relevant Government department. If they offer an opportunity to make
practical savings for the Government, they may be introduced as part of the
Spending Review this autumn.
Changes to the National Insurance Number Card:
1. In 2011, the Government will introduce a new system for distributing
National Insurance numbers to people which will see the plastic National
Insurance number card replaced with a letter.
2. In the interim, a letter will be sent instead of replacement cards, saving
£100,000 in 2010/11.
3. HMRC issues young people a National Insurance number card (NINO card) at
the age of 15 years and 9 months, to migrant workers within the UK and also
issues replacement cards to people who request one.
4. Initial estimates show that the replacement of a plastic NINO card with a
letter will provide savings of up to £1 million per annum in the upfront costs
5. The NINO card is not a recognised form of ID within the UK, but is simply
a reminder to the holder of the card of their National Insurance number. The
replacement of the NINO with a letter would only replace the physical form in
which this reminder was produced.
Changes to CRB checks for Junior Doctors:
6. The Government will establish a more common-sense approach to CRB checks
for Junior Doctors, reducing the costs incurred by the NHS when a Junior Doctor
moves position as part of their training. Currently, NHS employers regularly
make CRB checks every time a Doctor moves position and, as Junior Doctors move
every 6 months as part of their training, this increases costs and
administrative burden for the NHS.
7. The Department of Health will now make sure that NHS employers are aware
that they can take a more common sense approach to CRB checks and allow existing
CRB checks to be used, simplifying checks for Junior Doctors and reducing costs.
NHS employers will continue to require the normal references and other
pre-employment checks that they should be undertaking in any case.
8. The change to CRB checks for junior doctors will save up to £1million a
year for the NHS.
Selling on surplus Government equipment through an online auction site:
9. The Government will now pilot the use of an online auction site to sell on
surplus and second hand Government equipment.
10. The Cabinet Office and the MOD will launch a pilot project this autumn
that will develop the existing MOD eDisposals service, including the eDisposals
website, for use across all Government departments. The website will allow all
Government departments to sell on old or unused equipment so that the money made
can be reinvested in public services.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2010-09-11 14:21:13 in Economic Articles