SSRG Briefings – Public Services Reform: Making a Real Difference – Details of Cross-Cutting Reviews in 2000 Spending Review

Details of 13 cross Departmental spending reviews were announced by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Smith on 21 December 1999.

This follows evidence that cross Departmental work is making a real difference, allowing service providers to find new and better ways of responding to the needs of local people. The cross-cutting spending reviews in last year’s Comprehensive Spending Review were very successful, bringing forward radical and innovative new approaches including the National Drugs Strategy and the Sure Start Programme which is improving services for young children and families.

In consultation with departments and local government, the Prime Minister and the Chief Secretary have identified a list of thirteen cross-cutting reviews to be conducted between now and next summer. All but two of the reviews concentrate on issues relating to Policy in the United Kingdom.

For each of these reviews, a lead Minister has been identified. An inter-departmental team has been established, and the reviews will draw on relevant expertise from inside and outside Whitehall:

The Welfare to Work Review will consider how the Government can move further towards its aim of employment opportunity for all. The review will look at all expenditure devoted to moving people from welfare to work, including expenditure on the Employment Service, the New Deals and the cost of providing benefits, training and advice for those not in work. This work is being led by members of the Cabinet sub-committee on Welfare to Work. Departments involved include Education and Employment, Social Security, Health, Inland Revenue and others.

The Sure Start and Services for the Under Fives Review will consider the Sure Start programme in the light of developments since its launch in 1998. It will review evidence which has emerged since the last spending review, and will aim to take a complete view of what current needs are and what different government programmes are delivering.

Minister for Public Health Yvette Cooper will report on this review with Secretary of State for Employment David Blunkett. Involved are the Departments of Health, Education and Employment, Environment, Transport and Regions, Social Security and the Home Office.

The Young People at Risk Review will report on the most cost effective policies and means of service delivery for helping young people at risk aged 13 – 19 to make the transition safely from childhood to adulthood. It will make recommendations on adjustment to existing programmes as well as on co-ordination and accountability arrangements.

The work is being led by Minister for Employment, Welfare to Work and Equal Opportunities Tessa Jowell and involves Departments across Whitehall.

The Support for Older People Review will look at the scope for improving the gateway to ongoing care and support for older people and some disabled people who cannot work. It will review existing arrangements for information provision and needs assessments, exploring the possibility of a single point of access to services. It will consider the scope for more rational, effective and efficient systems of service delivery across the boundaries of social services, social security, the NHS, other government bodies, and the private and voluntary sectors.

The work is being led by Minister of State for the Cabinet Office Ian McCartney and involves Departments across Whitehall.

The Criminal Justice System Review will build on initial work in the Comprehensive Spending Review. The CSR proposed setting clear objectives and targets for the criminal justice system as a whole and introducing new arrangements for joint strategic planning and performance management at national and local level. The new study will take stock of what has been achieved and what more remains to be done, and help underpin effective crime reduction.

The Home Secretary Jack Straw will lead this review. All departments involved in the criminal justice system will participate.

The Drugs Review will build on the work undertaken in the previous spending review to make a fundamental and rigorous assessment of the effectiveness of the use of existing anti-drugs resources. As well as considering the outputs and resources required to underpin the strategy,
it will also consider mechanisms for co-ordination and delivery of the strategy, both at national and local level. A particular concern will be to focus efforts on pro-actively tackling the root causes, rather than reactively subsidising failure.

The review is being led by Minister for the Cabinet Office Mo Mowlam, working with the UK Anti-Drugs Co-ordinator Keith Hellawell and Departments across Whitehall.

The Crime Reduction Review will build on the Crime Reduction Strategy established in the last spending review. It will consider the scope for crime-reducing activities across the whole of Government, tackling the full range of factors associated with criminality and offending. The
review team will ensure that its findings are reflected in resource allocation and target setting in the 2000 Spending Review.

The review is being led by Home Office Minister of State Charles Clarke and Departments across Whitehall are involved.

The Local Government Finance Review will provide an overview of the spending needs and objectives of English local government to inform decisions in the 2000 Spending Review. The key outputs of the review will be the local authority revenue settlement and investment strategy.
The review will also consider how targets can best be delivered on the ground.

The review is being led by Minister for Local Government and the Regions Hilary Armstrong. All Departments with an interest in local government are involved.

The Government Intervention in Deprived Areas Review will consider the impact of main programmes in deprived areas as well as regeneration funds and area-based initiatives. Building on recent work by the Social Exclusion Unit, it will seek to ensure that the 2000 Spending Review supports the Government’s aim of narrowing the gap between the most deprived neighbourhoods and the rest of the country.

The Chief Secretary has asked Treasury Permanent Secretary Sir Andrew Turnbull to lead this review, reporting to all interested ministers.

The Rural and Countryside Programmes Review will build on the recent recommendations to Government by the Performance and Innovation Unit and ongoing work on the Rural White Paper. It will consider rural development, environmental issues and the provision of public services in rural areas.

Minister for the Cabinet Office Mo Mowlam will lead this review. Other departments involved include the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Department of Environment Transport and the Regions and the Department of Trade and Industry.

The Science and Research Review aims to ensure that science which is supported from public funds in England is being properly conducted and exploited to the benefit of the economy at large. This work will take full account of work being carried out for a Science and Innovation strategy led by the DTI.

It will be led by Minister for Science Lord Sainsbury, and will involve the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department for Education and Employment, and the other Departments that play a significant role in this area.

The other two reviews deal with Conflict Prevention in Sub-Saharan Africa and Nuclear Safety in the Former Soviet Union.

Further information is available from the Treasury website: