Since the launch of the Enhanced Productivity Programme (EPP) announced by the Chief Executive in his 1998 Policy Address, the public sector has made significant progress in achieving the goals of EPP -- reducing expenditure through improved productivity, operating more efficiently through streamlining and yet maintaining high standards in the provision of public services.
In 1999-2000, government bureaux, departments and subvented organisations delivered total productivity gains of $818 million. Of this amount, three quarters were redeployed to new or improved services. To allow the public to monitor our performance, we published in March 1999 the first EPP Booklet: 1999-2000. The booklet reported on how we achieved the productivity gains and the initiatives on new or improved services provided through these savings.
From the coming year onwards, bureaux, departments and subvented organisations are required to progressively reduce their operating expenditure, moving towards the target of a 5% cumulative savings by 2002-03. For the year 2000-01, we have mandated an initial savings requirement of 1%. We are pleased to report that total savings achieved for the year is 1.2%.
We have undertaken from the outset to implement EPP in an open, transparent and accountable manner. We welcome public monitoring of EPP to ensure that savings are achieved without detriment to the quality of service and without giving rise to major staffing problem.
For this purpose, we publish this second EPP Booklet: 2000-01. The booklet summarises the achievements of individual bureaux, departments and subvented organisations. It describes the measures taken, the safeguards put in place and the challenges and opportunities ahead.