The Initiative is central to the Executive’s programme of investment and reform of the public sector 1.3 Since devolution, the total resources available to the Executive have increased by 27 per cent between 2002/03 and 2005/06 to £27.4 billion. In July 2004, as part of the UK Spending Review 2004, and based on the Gershon review of public sector efficiency1, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced plans to save 2.5 per cent per year over the three years to 2007/08, equivalent to £20 billion each year. The effect of this announcement is that, while public spending is still expected to increase in Scotland in real terms, the rate of increase will be less than in previous years.
1.4 The 2003 Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition Partnership Agreement, A Partnership for a Better Scotland, sets out the Executive’s vision for high-quality public services to be achieved by matching investment with reform, increasing public sector productivity and designing services around the needs of individuals. The Executive’s Efficient Government Initiative, launched in June 2004, is a central part of that programme of investment, reform and modernisation and comprises a five- year programme to attack waste, bureaucracy and duplication in Scotland’s public sector.