Departments don't understand impact of cuts, says National Audit Office chief Amyas Morse
NAO chief Amyas Morse warns officials may not be thinking through implications of spending reductions
Whitehall officials may be making cuts without understanding their impact, the head of the National Audit Office has said.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Amyas Morse said spending reductions in departments were sometimes made without fully thinking through their implications, citing cuts to local government which ended up putting additional pressure on the NHS.
He said: “If you’re going to do radical surgery it would be nice if you knew where the heart was. You’re slightly more likely not to stick a knife in it by mistake.”
More Universal Credit delays could cost billions, says NAO
NAO director Babington heads to financial regulator
We need more support from the centre, departments tell National Audit Office
Sir Amyas told the paper civil servants were sometimes reluctant to address problems identified by his watchdog.
“What I observed is something that I will collectively describe as the feather game," he said. "Because if you keep blowing the feather hopefully it will land on someone else."
He also warned of an “optimism bias” among ministers in which projects were pursued because of personal belief rather than following a proper analysis of possible outcomes.
Watchdog says keenness to proceed with Liverpool project led to deal being struck before...
'Tough decisions' needed to support Budget, prime minister tells ministers
Robin Butler suggested impressionist could trick chancellor into revealing budget details amid...
As 2020 approaches, senior figures from across government reflect on their highlights and...
How can local authorities and government departments ensure that civil servants are able to...
BT takes a look at the shifting nature of cyber threats, and how organisations can detect and...
One in four workers in the UK has financial worries. In this article, Elaine Jefferys, Money...
Microsoft shows a few of the ways that governments can turn data into insight