Select Committee on Education and Employment Tenth Special Report


Summary diagram

  Published by DfEE Published by OFSTED
PLANSStrategic Framework
Public Service Agreement
Departmental Investment Strategy
Service Delivery Agreement (with OFSTED)
Business Plan
(from 2002) spring Departmental Report and Main Estimates (with OFSTED and Treasury)
Corporate Plan
Departmental Investment Strategy
REPORTS(from 2002) autumn Departmental Report and Accounts (with OFSTED and Treasury)
Statistical Bulletin
HMCI Annual Report

Each Parliament

DfEE, Strategic Framework

The Department publishes the Strategic Framework for the wide range of partners who work with it and help deliver its policies and services, and for the Department's staff and for other government departments. It was first produced in 1998, intended for the life of the current Parliament. The Framework sets out: DfEE's strategic vision; its aims and objectives; the context and challenges within which it will operate for the period; its programme of policies, which will take forward that strategic vision; and its approach to these tasks and challenges. The Framework also details how DfEE plans to take forward its policy programme during the life of the Parliament, thus helping the other organisations that work with DfEE to plan and organise their work. It enables DfEE staff to see where policies fit together within the overall strategy. The next version of the Framework will be more closely integrated with the business planning process and link strategy more overtly with the intended outcomes for key customer groups.

Every two years

DfEE (and HM Treasury), Public Service Agreement

The Department's Public Service Agreement, first published in 1998, sets out the service improvements, key reforms and modernisation initiatives it is committed to delivering by 2002. It brings together in a single place information on DfEE's aim, objectives and agreed performance targets. The Spending Review 2000 built on the first Agreement by setting new targets for the three years from 2001-02 to 2003-04. The agreement is a commitment to the public on what they it can expect for its money. DfEE reports on its performance against the targets each year in its Departmental Report.

DfEE with OFSTED, Service Delivery Agreement

The Service Delivery Agreement underpins the Public Service Agreement (PSA) and provides detail on how the Department's targets will be delivered, as well as how it will modernise and reform to help deliver targets. The main elements of the Service Delivery Agreement are:

  • accountability statement;

  • delivering key results—its PSA and how the Department measures success against objectives that do not have PSA targets;

  • improving performance—this focuses on internal reforms;

  • consumer focus—how the Department will increase its understanding of consumer views, and the accessibility of its services to them;

  • managing people—how the Department will achieve better performance by improving the way they manage people; electronic government—details of the Department's e­business strategy;

  • policy and strategy—what initiatives the Department is undertaking to improve policy­making, research and analysis.

DfEE and OFSTED, Departmental Investment Strategy

DfEE and OFSTED set out publicly in these documents how they will use existing capital resources and what new investment will come from the Spending Review 2000. An edition of the strategy is produced for each spending review. In DfEE, the process of compiling the strategy focuses the Department's review of strategy and challenge of investment proposals. It has five main sections:

  • a strategic overview;

  • three main sections, each dealing with one of the Department's main objectives; and

  • a short section about the Department's own administrative capital.

Each section except the first deals with strategic policy context; current asset base; new investment plans; and the systems the Department uses to monitor and evaluate its investment. The strategy links investment plans to the objectives and targets outlined in the Department's annual work plans.

Each year

DfEE, Workplan

The Department produces an annual Workplan that sets out:

  • its long­term aims and objectives as described in the Strategic Framework;

  • its PSA targets;

  • key goals—these are the areas of work that the Department will be focusing on over the coming year, detailing actions and progress towards achievement of PSA targets and other objectives;

  • improvement priorities—linked to the Modernising Government agenda; resources—the efficiency targets in our PSA; and

  • a break down of programme costs by sector and what its running costs are spent on.

Each directorate and division within the Department produces its own workplan, in a similar format. The Department looks continuously at ways to develop and improve its business planning process and during 2001-02 will be exploring methods to link, more explicitly, resources to activities. The recent Peer Review of its business planning, sponsored by the Cabinet Office, confirmed that the Department has a coherent and systematic planning process, which is used and well documented.

DfEE with OFSTED (and HM Treasury), Supply Estimates

Until 2000-01, under the cash regime, the Treasury published all departments' Estimates together in a single booklet and this was presented to Parliament. However, from 2001-02, resource­based Supply Estimates will be included in departments' Departmental Reports. The Treasury will present a summary of those Estimates (known as the Summary Request for Supply) to Parliament for voting purposes. The summary will include key information from each department's estimate, such as the overall level of resources required. The resource Estimates will include an 'ambit' listing the things on which the Department may spend money, detailed tables showing the amounts that are planned to be spent and explanations of how the figures in the Estimate reconcile to the budget figures emerging from the spending review process. In 2001-02, the structure of the financial tables will be based on the Department's objectives. In future years, the tables will be reformatted to present the information on a functional basis.

Tables in the Departmental Report show the figures in the Estimates in the context of a time­series extending back to 1998-99 and forward to 2003-04. The numbers also feed into tables in Treasury's Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis where, in many cases, they are aggregated with expenditure figures for other departments and the devolved territories.

DfEE and OFSTED (and HM Treasury), Departmental Report

The Departmental Report sets out for Parliament the Government's expenditure plans in a series of tables specified by HM Treasury. These link to Treasury's Public Expenditure: Statistical Analyses. Since 2000, the Report has also included DfEE's progress against Public Service Agreement targets and, from 2001, will include departments' Main Estimates. The Report also includes a narrative about achievements during the preceding financial year, particularly progress on PSA and Workplan targets. From 2002, the report will be split in two: in the spring, a document will present plans for the coming financial year, together with the Main Estimates; in the autumn, a second document will record performance against plans and targets for the preceding financial year, together with the Resource Accounts.

DfEE, Education and Training Expenditure since 1990­91 (statistical bulletin)

The Department produces this bulletin once a year, in the spring or summer. The bulletin presents consistent and detailed outturn expenditure figures for the last 10 years in cash and real terms, together with various other supplementary analyses. The data have generally been published elsewhere (most commonly in past departmental reports), or can be derived from published data, or, in particular for the LEA figures for recent years, are updated versions of figures previously published. The purpose of the bulletin is to bring together in a single publication, data that are otherwise scattered in several places, or can be derived only with difficulty; and to analyse in cash and in real terms the trends these data show.

DfEE and OFSTED, Resource Accounts and DfEE, the Teachers' Pensions Scheme Statement

These are annual accounts produced as at 31 March for Parliament. The benefits of resource accounting not only apply to the management of the department's resources, but also to the overall planning, management and control of public expenditure. The Resource Accounts are directly linked to the Department's Supply Estimates, since they identify variances where estimated expenditure differs from actual outturn, and they are the mechanism for reporting to the House of Commons the Department's expenditure, for which the necessary funds have been voted. These accounts are audited by the National Audit Office and certified by the Comptroller and Auditor General. From 2002 they will be published in the autumn Departmental Reports.

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Prepared 21 June 2001