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Aug 2012

Improving decision making in Whitehall

The Institute for Government, CIMA and Deloitte point out how government and the taxpayer could benefit if Whitehall used better management information to improve public spending decisions. The lack of such a fundamental business tool in Whitehall is striking to those from a commercial background.

The report looks at six case studies which demonstrated that Whitehall is perfectly capable of using complex management information. However, a lack of demand for it in Whitehall was holding back progress. The six case studies are examples of where management information has been developed and used to make better decisions. Based on these case studies the report makes three core recommendations to address the barriers to progress and endorses a more systematic approach to the use of management information in Whitehall.

The financial flow information, which is to say how much money has come in and how much money has gone out, is pretty good. Because people have to land their budget exactly. What is lacking is the much deeper understanding of how you can use numbers and information to understand where you really are. It is to do with efficiency.

Lord Browne non-executive Government lead

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Improving decision making in Whitehall