Smarter money

Think tank: Adam Smith Institute

Author(s): Tim Ambler

September 20, 2022

This report from UK think tank the Adam Smith Institute looks at reforming HM Treasury.

This report proposes a number of reforms to improve the efficiency and value for money of HM Treasury. This paper is part of the Adam Smith Institute’s “Reforming the Civil Service” series. The Treasury has responsibility for a number of functions that are currently performed inefficiently and represent poor value for taxpayer money; The department’s stated objectives are too broad and cannot be used as indicators of objective achievement. It should instead be organised around realistic quantified objectives aligned with executive agencies that could feasibly deliver them; Non-departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs or ‘quangos’) should either be abolished or become Executive Agencies if they are substantively adding to their departmental capacity; The paper’s recommendations include the following: Close down the Government Internal Audit; Abolish the National Infrastructure Commission; Consider ways in which the UK Infrastructure Bank’s objectives could be achieved by the private sector; Close the Office of Tax Simplification and the HMRC Administrative Burdens Advisory Board, and replace them with an independent body drawn from academia; Abolish the Financial Reporting Advisory Board; Taken together, if all the recommendations within this paper were implemented, this would amount to a saving of 1,505 staff (43% of the present total).