The government has announced three ideas submitted to the Treasury's Spending Challenge crowd-sourcing initiative will be implemented as policy.
The Spending Challenge exercise was the second crowd-sourcing exercise announced by the government since the General Election, following Your Freedom. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg this week confirmed the next phase of Your Freedom
would begin after 5pm today (10 September).
Two of the three ideas representing the first batch of implementations offer relatively small savings of approximately £1 million each (which barely registers compared to the size of the UK’s total deficit), but the Treasury would no doubt argue every saving counts.
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.
“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,” said chancellor George Osborne MP. “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 decisions ahead.”
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.