The Chief Executive announced in his 1998 Policy Address the formal launch of the Enhanced Productivity Programme (EPP) across the public sector. Since then, significant progress has been made in achieving the goal of EPP, which is to achieve the best value-for-money in Government expenditure while maintaining and improving the quality of public services.
The target of EPP is to achieve 5% cumulative savings in the Government's baseline operating expenditure progressively over a three-year period, from 2000-01 to 2002-03. Ahead of the implementation of EPP, in 1999-2000, Government bureaux, departments and subvented organisations had already delivered total productivity gains of $818 million. In 2000-01 and 2001-02, we delivered savings of $1,148 million (equivalent to 1.2%) and $2,248 million (equivalent to 2.1%) respectively, or $3.4 billion cumulatively amounting to 3.3% of baseline expenditure. For 2002-03, we have identified savings of $2,036 million (equivalent to 1.9%). Overall, this will bring cumulative savings from 2000-01 to 2002-03 to $5.4 billion, or 5.2% of baseline expenditure, exceeding the cumulative savings target of 5%. All EPP savings are redeployed to new or improved services.
We welcome public monitoring to ensure that savings are achieved without compromising the quality of service or giving rise to staffing problems. We have undertaken from the outset to implement EPP in an open, transparent and accountable manner. We publish this EPP Booklet: 2002-03 which summarises the achievements of bureaux, departments and subvented organisations; the measures taken to support implementation of EPP and the safeguards put in place to ensure the quality of service.