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Policy Information

The Spending Review

Published: 19 July 2018
From: Department of Public Expenditure and Reform


The Spending Review process aims to improve how public expenditure is allocated across all areas of Government. Announced in Budget 2017, it aims to place evidence at the heart of policy making, by systematically examining existing spending programmes with a view to assessing their efficiency and effectiveness, and to support the re-allocation of funding to meet expenditure priorities.

The Spending Review is closely aligned with the current Public Service Reform Programme, Our Public Service 2020 .


  • Creating a larger stock of analysis and evaluation to support the Government in its resource-allocation decisions;
  • Underpinning efficiency and effectiveness across all areas of spending, with a greater focus on outcomes and impacts;
  • Providing the evidence base for reform efforts across Departments and the wider public service;
  • Spotlighting areas of innovation and good practice, both in programme design and service delivery, that will be of wider interest and applicability; and
  • Ensuring that the Spending Reviews are more firmly embedded within the Budgetary process.

Key Outcomes

  • Embedding an ongoing evaluation culture across the Civil Service;
  • Facilitating engagement of all Departments in critically reviewing the efficiency, effectiveness and impact of spending;
  • Maximising the role of IGEES across the Civil Service by embedding IGEES output as a key part of the Budgetary process; and
  • Providing clear options for Government to reform, negotiate and/or re-prioritise spending in an evidenced-based manner.

View all Spending Review Papers

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