The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1979-1983 Parliament

Mr Major’s Written Question on General Administration – 17 December 1980

Below is the text of Mr Major’s Parliamentary written question on General Administration, published on 17th December 1980.

Mr. Major Asked the Secretary of State for Defence what steps have been taken to inform Ministry of Defence staff of the need for, and ways of, achieving economies in general administration.

Mr. Hayhoe Ministry of Defence staff are frequently informed of the need for and ways of achieving economies in general administration. In September an instruction to be seen by all staff was issued on “Economy in MOD: A responsibility for Everyone” in the following terms “Everyone in the Ministry of Defence will be aware of the stringent measures being taken throughout the government service to reduce expenditure through improved efficiency. There are major studies under way, but the purpose of this instruction is to bring to the attention of all ranks and grades the part that everyone of us can play in keeping expenditure to the minimum without reducing the effective performance of our tasks. Economy can, and should, start with the individual. The savings which each of us may be able to make may seem trivial but in total they will add up to substantial sums. If everyone who reads this saved the department only £1 a week this would total more that £10 million in the course of a year. Is this (or better) really beyond us? Line managers, of whatever rank or grade, possibly have even greater scope than others for making savings and should assume immediate responsibility for setting a good example. They should each take a hard look at their area of responsibility; it is unlikely that they will be unable to find some cost-saving ideas. They should also give their staff every chance to put their views forward; there are almost certainly many underlying ideas only requiring the right stimulus, eg. a brain-storming session, for germination.”

Guidance was given on making the most cost-effective use of heating and lighting; telecommunications; office equipment; postal services; stationery supplies; typing and reprographics and travel facilities.

The text of the instruction has been placed in the Library.