The Executive aspires to achieve recurring efficiency gains of £1.5 billion by 2007/08 1.5 The Executive’s strategy for implementing the initiative was published in November 2004 in Building a Better Scotland: Efficient Government – Securing Efficiency, Effectiveness and Productivity (the Efficient Government Plan). This defined an efficiency improvement as any activity which improves the ratio of outputs to inputs. Such improvements may arise in two ways:
• By producing the same outputs with fewer inputs eg, producing the same level of service at lower cost. These are termed cash-releasing gains.
• By producing more or better outputs for the same inputs eg, producing more or better quality services at the same cost. These are termed time-releasing gains.
1.6 The Efficient Government Plan also set out how the Executive planned to achieve recurring cash-releasing gains of £745 million and recurring time-releasing gains of £300 million by 2007/08, although it considered cash-releasing gains of £900 million and time-releasing gains of £600 million were achievable. It recognised the scope for efficiency savings across all parts of the public sector, identified efficiency gains for each area of Executive activity and outlined some specific projects which could contribute to the savings expected.