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July 18, 2006

Question written on 18/07/2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what progress has been made since the wider efficiency review into libraries carried out by the accountants and consultants PKF in June 2005.

Answered by David Lammy

The PKF report recommended that there were particular efficiencies to be found within the stock procurement systems. The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) therefore commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to undertake a detailed study of the potential for efficiencies in this area and to develop a model to realise them. PwC will report on its proposals shortly. Work will then follow to implement its proposed model.We envisage that the work on stock procurement will provide lessons that could be transferred to other areas of public library management and service deliveryfor example, in increased joint working and procurement of services such as marketing materials and reading promotions.PKF also recommended that library authorities should review staff management and staff structures towards optimum efficiency. Although this recommendation was directed at individual authorities, MLA is seeking to encourage the adoption of efficient working practices through current programmes such as peer reviews and through a number of proposed activities in the new 2006-08 “Framework for the Future” action plan.