Cross Departmental Expenditure Reviews: Lessons from the Pilot Exercises
The expenditure review initiative (ERI) was launched by the Department of Finance in May 1997. The intention is to promote systematic analysis if of what is being achieved by government spending. Guidelines issued by the Department of Finance state that areas of expenditure that cut across departmental boundaries should be included in the review process. The Expenditure Review Central Steering Committee (ERCSC), which oversees the ERI, decided that it would be wise to undertake a small number of pilot cross-departmental reviews with a view towards designing systems for and approaches to such reviews that would be capable of being transferred to other departments and offices. Departments and offices were asked to suggest topics. In May 2002, as part of its general discussion on the expenditure review process, the government approved the following two topics for review, with nominated lead departments:
Cross-departmental expenditure review of supports for the long-term unemployed (Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment).
Cross-departmental expenditure review of the government’s strategy for road safety 1998-2002 (Department of Transport).
The CPMR was asked to provide a review of the lessons learned from the pilot exercises and to develop practical guidelines for the future practice of cross-departmental reviews.