168. HSE already has a wide-ranging traditional efficiency programme. The
potential savings are a mix of cash releasing benefits and increased staff
effectiveness. Not all can yet be quantified. The key elements are:
- New Ways of Working. For example, following successful pilots in the
Field Operations Directorate, HSE plans to change the staff mix and make
more use of administrative staff for front line aspects of operational work.
Further savings across the operational directorates are sought through an
Operational Productivity Project.
- Streamlining corporate support (in line with the Efficiency Review agenda)
within HSE has been a priority in recent years. A further 5% saving on
payroll and staff associated expenditure is planned for 2004/5. The ongoing
overhaul of the way in which the HSE delivers publications, publicity, information
and advice should also produce substantial savings.
- We believe there is scope to save further resources by even better procurement.
- The nature of our core business and geographic dispersal make for a high
travel and subsistence spend. In the last year HSE has made significant
savings and believes that there is scope for further reductions through
more cost effective approaches, including reducing the amount of travel.
- HSE has a very highly trained and qualified workforce but think that
better value from training spend can be achieved. Research has been commissioned
into this area, however it is too early to assess the likely benefits.
- Working to reduce the sickness absence rate of HSE staff (currently 7.9
days per staff year).
- Our current IT investment should produce significant efficiency improvements.
Although most of these are not cash releasing they should reduce support
costs and increase operational productivity.
169. Even where the savings from this programme can be quantified they cannot
simply be summed. Some will overlap but others may stimulate wider savings.
Nevertheless, we believe that this programme will generate significant savings
and allow resource to be redirected to contribute to delivery of targets and
the new HSC Strategy.