WPQ answer- public sector productivity

Treasury has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (15529):

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to increase public sector productivity. (15529)

Tabled on: 26 February 2024

Laura Trott:

The government has a relentless focus on getting the most out of every pound spent by boosting public sector productivity and by focusing spending on the government’s priorities.

In June, the Chancellor announced the Public Sector Productivity Programme as a means of assessing how productivity can be improved and to ensure the long-term sustainability of our public services.

The programme has focused on embracing the opportunities presented by Artificial Intelligence, reducing the amount of time our key frontline workers spend on administrative tasks and strengthening preventive action to reduce demand on public services.

The answer was submitted on 04 Mar 2024 at 12:50.


  1. Lynn Atkinson
    March 8, 2024

    Oh! They have been ‘relentless’ and failed completely. They must allow somebody else to do the job, because they have done their best and it’s not good enough.

    1. Mickey Taking
      March 8, 2024

      ‘relentless’ worthy of a chuckle.

  2. agricola
    March 8, 2024

    Just word soup. Public sector productivity, has been for years, and remains a drag on the wealth creating private sector. If the CS is looking for salvation in AI, look at the past government record on the introduction of computer systems. AI is just the new kid on the block, as the old one , Nett Zero wanes.

  3. Peter
    March 8, 2024

    So you set up a programme to make it look as if something is happening. Then add a bit of waffle about embracing opportunity and suggest that AI will do the trick.

    Easier than giving the culprits a rocket or sacking them I suppose.

  4. Sharon
    March 8, 2024

    If AI includes the telephone answering systems and online activity… I’ve spent more time as a customer waiting and waiting for phones to be answered and scrolling on websites looking for information that invariably isn’t there, than the rest of my life put together!

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      March 8, 2024

      There is no test data for anything. For instance yesterday, due to road closures in the town centre, I drove and dropped my husband off at the closed road so he could walk and conduct his business. The plan was to meet at a different location.
      But he had the key of the car in his jacket pocket and when he hopped out and disappeared, I was left in a car with no key present.
      When this genius idea of the car detecting a key was introduced, nobody had thought of what would happen if the key left the car –
      We run into thousands of problems every day that the designers thought would never happen and therefore had made no provision for recovery.
      AI is not yet designing its own programs and systems. Wait until it does – we shall have to smash the machines!

      1. Mickey Taking
        March 8, 2024

        did you give him a rollicking when you met up? My wife and I always ( famous last words?) carry separate door and car keys.

  5. Bloke
    March 8, 2024

    Her “strengthening preventive action to reduce demand on public services” includes blocking access to NHS services, and much worse.

  6. Berkshire Alan
    March 8, 2024

    Sounds like Our Minister is unfit for purpose given the vague answers to both questions.

  7. Nigl
    March 8, 2024

    Relentless. ‘Trotts out bolleaux’

  8. Anthony+Jacks
    March 8, 2024

    Simply, history suggests that the government has not focussed upon efficiency within the Civil Service. What are the targets, time-scales, and will there be specialists involved in the analysis of what can be achieved.

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