19/05/2004

Minister endorses drive for modernisation

The future of office accommodation for Northern Ireland’s 29,000 civil servants is to be a key feature in a major programme of reform and modernisation for public services.

A Strategic Development Plan for the Civil Service estate is being prepared which includes an examination of new and more flexible ways of working. The programme is looking at how government workspace can be used more efficiently and how future procurement can provide real value for money.

The office estate for the Civil Service in Northern Ireland comprises some 220 properties both owned and leased with a capital value in excess of £200m.

Speaking, following the appointment of Deloittes, the Finance Minister, Ian Pearson said: “This is an exciting and challenging programme which I believe has the potential to promote better ways of working in the Civil Service in Northern Ireland and to produce real and lasting efficiency improvements.

“Government is committed to providing a value for money service to the public. Accommodation that reflects the best in modern business practices means greater efficiency and ultimately better quality services to the public.”

The work being taken forward in conjunction with Deloittes will be completed by the early autumn, followed quickly by implementation and delivery on recommendations.

The Strategic Investment Board was created in May 2003 and is responsible for guiding the £2 billion Strategic Investment Programme, which is the route map for upgrading Northern Ireland’s infrastructure.

The Strategic Development Plan is one of a number of initiatives to be supported by the Strategic Investment Board for Northern Ireland, working in partnership with the Department of Finance & Personnel.

The initial planning and preparatory work for the project is to be led by the Department and the SIB, working closely with the Belfast based consultancy firm Deloitte Consulting.

(MB)

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