DEPARTMENTS BUSINESS PLANS
Giving a clear idea of the vision, aims and action plans of each Department
The Spending Review 2010 set out the Government’s policy and financial priorities, and a spending framework requiring significant cuts to most departmental budgets. Subsequently, the Government published 17 Departmental Business Plans which focus on the priorities set out in the Coalition Agreement and are designed to provide a basis for accountability for delivery of those actions. The Business Plans provide detailed coverage and accountability for implementation of the Coalition Programme. The plans set out a policy intention to shift power from central government to local communities and locally based public, private and voluntary bodies. The Government wants to empower local people and embed local accountability by making more data more freely available so that people can assess value for money and services providers can be accountable. However, the planning to support the implementation of the reforms and new models of service delivery is at different stages in different departments with much of the detail under development or not yet in the public domain. Clearly of particular interest to those involved in education, skills and training are the Business Plans of the DfE and BIS. But you should also note the Business plan of the Cabinet Office which is driving reforms overall in the public sector, relating, for instance, to quangos, public sector procurement and contracting and the relationship with SMEs. It is also vigorously pushing the ‘Big Society ‘agenda , amid concerns among its supporters that the initiative is losing its momentum. Many references here to the anticipated role of the third sector in public service delivery.