Five key workstreams are expected to contribute to efficiencies in the longer term 1.7 The Efficient Government Plan also identified five key workstreams which are expected to drive further efficiency improvements across the public sector in the longer term:
• Better procurement through 125 public sector organisations becoming part of eProcurement Scotl@nd2 by 2007/08; achieving sustainable costs reductions of £200 million per annum by 2007/08 through collaborative purchasing; and through a review of public procurement in Scotland to be carried out in 2005.3
• Managing sickness absence by analysing the pattern of sickness absence in public services to disseminate best practice in sickness absence management and set improvement targets.
• Proper asset management through an evaluation of current arrangements for asset management within the public sector as whole. The management of assets is typically the second highest revenue cost incurred by public sector bodies after staff costs.
• Shared support services by recognising that sharing support services (such as procurement, payroll, HR, IT and finance) among public bodies has the potential to generate substantial efficiency savings through economies of scale, greater standardisation and the adoption of best practice.
1.8 With the exception of procurement-related projects, there is no explicit link between efficiency projects identified to date and the five workstreams. Further work is required on developing the workstreams before new efficiency projects associated with them can be devised. Better procurement is, however, expected to generate recurring savings of £83.6 million in 2005/06, £153 million in 2006/07 and £213 million in 2007/08.