Innovative, thrifty thinking that saves taxpayers’ money will put Whitehall workers in line for small scale rewards, such as shopping vouchers. The move is part of wider measures made by Eric Pickles to reduce departmental waste and save taxpayers’ money. The measure will pay for itself by rewarding ideas which save money.
The plan signals a broader cultural shift within Whitehall. At present the state rewards and recognises those that tax and regulate more rather than focusing on those doing more for less.
Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said:
I want to hear from the bright sparks in the department who, in the years of spend, spend spend, may have felt that their ideas to save, save, save fell on deaf ears. I want to tap into their expertise and insight, shaving pounds off the balance sheet and saving taxpayers’ money. I want to change the culture of the Civil Service: rewarding people for taxing, regulating and interfering less in other people’s lives.
Providing incentives to staff to flag up sensible money saving ideas is the latest in a long list of sensible measures taken by the department to drive down costs and reduce waste, including clamping down on the use of corporate credit cards.
In recent years the department has also slashed spend on senior civil servants’ bonuses, making significant savings. In addition the department’s relocation to share the Home Office building and the scheduled re-let of the IT contract will result in additional multi-million pound reductions in spending.