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EXTRA ORDINARY ITEMS – HMG: looking for financial direction.

Funny how New Labour keeps on turning to financial directors to help solve its most intractable problems. Erstwhile FDs Lords Sainsbury and Simon, of course, achieved ministerial rank. Now, Pearson FD John Makinson and GEC FD John Mayo are two of the seven private sector managers who will be joining the Public Services Productivity Panel, charged with helping the government find “efficiency improvements” worth £8bn a year by 2001-02. Mayo is looking at ways to raise standards in schools, while Makinson is eye-balling pay at the Inland Revenue. And let’s not forget ICAEW president and former NHS FD Dame Sheila Masters; the government says she’s overseeing “projects on NHS outpatient performance”. So even the walking wounded have to become more efficient.

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