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At last night's Spectator party Boris was thronged with admirers. Mr Cameron got a lot less attention. There'll need to be careful management of the two power circles.

Brilliant move from Boris. The future Conservative government ought to set up a similar audit group to act as a 'wastefinder general' to hunt down waste in government departments. Londoners have elected a gem in Boris!

Boris has certainly hit the ground running –crack on!

I agree, Tony. Ever been through your filing cabinet and judged each item against purpose?

Is it useful? Is it relevant? Is it a duplicate? Does it add value?

A full audit of the entire apparatus of government, root and branch, central and local in the same way would easily provide scope for seriously smaller government and levels of taxation.

Very pleased to see this audit taking place - and not before time! Also delighted that my local Council leader, Stephen Greenhalgh has a role here!

Well done Boris: just now, the future of the Party is largely in your hands!

Crickey - they're will be a lot of precautionary shredding by Labour before the GE on this basis ...

Excellent idea! When do the non-job sackings start?

Also, hate to sound cynical but how much is this audit itself going to cost?

Another good move from Boris, let's see what Labour have been wasting our money on. We can look forward to more of the same from the next Government :)

Didn't Boris promise on television to have itemised GLA spending on a searchable online database from Day 1? Why wasn't it?

Action and deadlines.

"how much is this audit itself going to cost"
It's something that needs to be done and there's no reason why it should be expensive.

I am so glad Boris has got Edward Lister on board. He is someone who truly understands value for money and local government. He has many many years of experience of delivering excellence in both, admired and well liked by all. Good choice Boris - wise indeed.

David Bullingdon (15.37)

That must be one promise broken already.

Excellent news. They should also do a drains up audit of TfL. My experience there would indicate that at least 2/3 could go without affecting the underground, bus or street management

Looks like the "grid" of an announcement a day is working out well. And all of them ticking off areas of election pledges.

I don't believe he said all spending would be on a website from Day 1: that would be technically impossible and there is no point in putting nonsense information up there for the sake of it. But the first move will be to list all new spending decisions and then build it up from there fairlty rapidly. Bearing in mind the grid, I expect that there will be some such announcement pretty soon.

Is it clear that Sir Simon Milton has resigned as Westmister City Council leader to join team Boris, or is he going to do both? It would be a pity if he thereby has to stand down from his national Chairman of Local Government position, or can he keep that from Boris's cabinet? Anyone got any clarity on this?

And a note to Tim: how about a permanent separate section of this website for Mayor/GLA/London? This can then be the primary source for all that goes on at the GLA whilst at the same time not annoying the non-Londoners by having items on it mixed up with national things. Just an idea.

How about all the non-jobbers go before Boris, Dragon's Den style to plead for their jobs to be kept? Then, if they waffle or put up a bad pitch, he strikes a gong and they're fired and marched out of the building by security.

Excellent;I hope they start with the Capita contract for the congestion tax.

Cleethorpes Rock - The your fired thing is just a crude spin off of the junk celebrity culture - which encourages bad behaviour/bitching etc.

But, of course, there is massive waste at City Hall and they slash it.
It could be slashed without endangering any services atall - indeed they would be better.

"Excellent;I hope they start with the Capita contract for the congestion tax."

Micheal, Capita have already lost the contract to IBM AFAIK. From what I have read, it isn't actually making any money......or cutting congestion!!

David Bullingdon and Clockwork Mouse:

Your comments show a total lack of grasp of reality, if you believe that in ONE DAY, an organisation with a spend of £11 BILLION could re-organise its processes so that every spend is logged and registered in a new, online system.

Boris can still honour his pledge, by making sure that a system is up and running - THAT ACCOUNTS FOR SPENDS FROM DAY ONE. This doesn't mean it should - or could - be there from day one.

I realise that you're both Labour Trolls... but ye gads, you should think about your posts more carefully.

P.s. interesting questions above about Simon Milton - Chairman of the LGA, Westminster Leader and TeamBoris sounds like a big ask...

Excellent questions, Englandism at 14.10:

"Is it useful? Is it relevant? Is it a duplicate? Does it add value?"

I hope that very soon David Cameron will be able to start asking similar questions about the quangos, consultants and bureaucrats added by Blair/Brown that are now seriously clogging up the arteries of this nation.

Comstock;thanks for that update on contractors----I'm sure you are right about not making money etc.Rather crafty of Ken to reassign contracts ahead of election.My understanding is that only the Mayor not Assembly Members were privy to the contract-----which makes the job of holding him to account rather difficult.

"Brilliant move from Boris. The future Conservative government ought to set up a similar audit group to act as a 'wastefinder general' to hunt down waste in government departments."

Guess what. The National Audit Office has existed in its present form since 1983. It issues about 60 reports a year relating to public spending programmes and many tend to be critical to a greater or lesser degree:

In addition, the House of Commons has a standing select committee of Public Accounts, which has existed continuosly since 1862. The party composition of the committee is broadly representative of the House but, by tradition, the chairman always comes from the main opposition party. Its reports also tend to be critical of government spending:

I generally find it useful to check up before making proposals for new political commitments, especially if the proposals might lead to additional public spending. The reports of the NAO and the Public Acccounts Committee make interesting reading and tend to result in better informed and documented criticisms of the government.

StevenAdams (18.12)

If Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson can't keep a promise he shouldn't make it.

Clockwork Mouse:

If Anthony Clockwork de Blairite Mouse doesn't understand what's wrong with his argument, he should stop posting.

This shows why public spending audits are a good thing.

Consider a BBC news three years ago on the NAO report about school attendance:

"Truancy in England has not fallen even though £885m has been spent on boosting attendance, an auditors' report says. The school truancy rate is the same as in 1997 - 0.7% - but fewer children are missing classes for authorised absences such as illness or holidays. A report from the National Audit Office (NAO) calls for central government to work more closely with local councils and schools to cut absence."

Unfortunately, the NAO report caused little political stir at the time, as I recall, perhaps because audit reports are regarded as boring, or possibly because oppositions regard it as politically hazardous to challenge government spending on such an obviously good cause as curbing truancy. Even so, £885m of taxpayers' money is a large sum and we need to probe into whether it was being effectively spent or just doled out to create jobs in the heartlands for school welfare workers.

A few days ago the press were reporting this:

"Almost 350,000 children missed a day of school every week last term as absence rates soared to a 12 month high, according to official figures. A hard core of 44,000 'persistent absentees' missed almost two-and-a-half days a week - despite £1 billion being spent by Labour to keep children in the classroom." [Telegraph, 6 May]

If we research the causes of crime, then this report in The Economist of 7 December 2006 picks one likely contributing factor:

"Nearly a third of British adults do not have a basic school-leaving certificate. More than a tenth have no qualifications at all. A fifth are functionally innumerate and nearly as many are functionally illiterate. And the workers of tomorrow aren't much better. One student in six leaves school unable to read, write and add up satisfactorily." [subscription required]

If Clockwork Mouse is typical of the quality of a New Labour supporter we should allow him to keep talking.

Vectan 09.23

Aren't you being a bit too liberal in allowing me to keep talking? Quite out of character for a Conservative.

I have never ever voted Labour or supported the Labour Party in any way.

JoeJames, you're dead right. City Hall needs to go on a diet and will be leaner, fitter for purpose and better value for it.

There is potential here to demonstrate that Conservatives can achieve value for money.

Love it - Patience is great!

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