Latest Public Sector News


Government processes programme ‘not value for money’

The NAO has said that HM Revenue & Customs’ PaceSetter Programme to streamline business operations seems to have improved productivity and staff engagement – but cannot yet be considered value for money.

That is because the extent to which efficiency has improved is not clear, the NAO report said. It adds that some key principles of process improvement are not yet being applied strategically across the entire organisation and embedded into the Department’s core processes.

Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, said: “PaceSetter is travelling in the right direction but not fast enough. After five years HMRC’s approach to process improvement should be better measured, more sophisticated and more ambitious in its transformation of the department.”

Through PaceSetter, the department has pioneered the use of process improvement techniques in central government.

These have included the redesign of claim forms, the standardisation of procedures across offices and more tailored approaches to checks based on risk.

The NAO said: “The Department estimated that productivity improvements due to PaceSetter between 2005-06 and 2010-11 are equivalent to £400m of resource savings and £860m of tax yield. However the extent to which these reported savings represent overall efficiency improvements is not clear, in part because of the limited evidence on overall trends in business performance. PaceSetter aims to engage frontline staff in continuously improving the way they work and so improve staff motivation. The Programme has had a small positive impact on staff engagement but overall it is still low.

“HMRC does not have a full understanding of the costs of PaceSetter.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

What came first, the bad customer or the bad customer service?

17/03/2020What came first, the bad customer or the bad customer service?

Source: PSE Feb/March 20 Stephen Bahooshy, Senior Commissioning Manager and Nicky Selwyn, Carer and Service User Group Chair, Croydon Council.   Here it is... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >