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This is an archived section of the Scottish Government website. External links, forms and search may not work on archived pages and content/contact details are likely to be out of date.

This page relates to the 2007 version of the National Performance Framework. Information about the current version of the NPF is available on the Scotland Performs Home Page.

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Current Status

The efficiency outturn report for 2010-11 sets out that for the 3rd year of this three year efficiency programme the 2% efficiency savings target has again been achieved.

More on efficiency savings

National Indicator


Improve public sector efficiency through the generation of 2% cash releasing efficiency savings per annum

Improve public sector efficiency

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Why is this National Indicator important?

The Government is committed to improving the quality of public services and the productivity of the public sector in Scotland by reducing waste and duplication. By operating more efficiently, public bodies can release cash and other resources (such as staff time and buildings) which can be ploughed back into delivering better services. Our target of increasing 2% cash-releasing efficiency savings will deliver £1.6bn of efficiency gains in 2010-11.

What will influence this National Indicator?

Each public body in Scotland can, and should, continually look for ways in which they can work more efficiently and effectively. The Government believes that all public bodies, even those that are already working in an efficient way, can work more efficiently still. Action to improve efficiency includes: focusing staff time on activities which make a positive difference to people's lives; getting better value from purchases through improved public procurement arrangements; and managing buildings and other assets more effectively.

What is the Government's role?

The Scottish Government recognises the duty upon us to operate in an efficient way. The Government has a role in fostering a culture and behaviours within public bodies, which help them to focus on their key purpose of delivering high quality services, which improve lives for people in Scotland and which also value efficient ways of working. We can take steps to reduce the burdens on public bodies. A good example of this is our work on reducing the demands of inspection on public bodies in a way which ensures that the quality of services are maintained or improved. We can also encourage bodies to achieve efficiencies together, for instance by sharing services and working together to achieve better outcomes for people in Scotland.

More fundamentally, the Government can take action to ensure that public services as a whole operate as efficiently as possible. This Government is committed to simplifying public services in Scotland. We are reducing the 199 national public service organisations by at least 25%, stopping activity that no longer contributes to the public purpose and bringing together bodies that fulfil similar purposes.

How are we performing?

This is the third and final year in which data is available for this indicator. The 2% per annum increasing cash releasing target covers each of the years 2008/09, 2009/10 and 2010/11 so previous efficiency measures are not directly comparable.

The 2010-11 efficient government outturn is £2,276m against a target of £1,603m delivering additional efficiency savings of £673m.

Cash releasing efficiency savings per annum

View data on efficiency savings

Source: Efficient Government Outturn Report

Note 1 - On 17 November 2010, the Scottish Government announced a more challenging 3% efficiency savings per annum target for this indicator in 2011-12.


This evaluation is based on the following: if the efficiency savings meet or exceed the target figure given above for the relevant year then it suggests that the position is improving, whilst if this target is not met the position is worsening.

For more information see Scotland Performs Technical Note

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

Who are our partners?

All bodies providing public services

Related Strategic Objectives

Wealthier and Fairer

View National Indicator data

Downloadable document:

Data for National Indicator on Efficiency savingsData for National Indicator on Efficiency savings [XLS, 32.0 kb: 27 Sep 2011]
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Performance Improving


Performance Maintaining


Performance Worsening

no info

Performance data currently being collected