The civil service wastes £500 million a year working on policies that have already been rejected

LONDON — The civil services wastes £500 million ($623 million) a year working on “rehashed” policies that were shelved by previous governments, according to the Times.

The Cabinet Office estimates that half a billion pounds is wasted on working up policies that have been floated before and abandoned, often on concerns they are unworkable. The Cabinet Office makes the estimate in an internal report seen by the Times.

The waste is partly blamed on Whitehall’s ageing IT infrastructure, which makes it difficult to discover whether a policy has been worked on before and hard to uncover any work previously done on it.

But, according to the Times, the report also says that culture is partly to blame, saying: “Some departments have an ingrained reticence to share material except in very limited circumstances.”

The report recommends more be done to prepare and ease the transition to digital record keeping in Whitehall.

The Cabinet Office told the Times that the £500 million a year figure is “an entirely hypothetical figure which is not based on analysis of actual working practices.”

You can read the full Times story here.

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