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Written Statement - Invest-to-Save Evaluation Report

Jane Hutt, Minister for Finance

Today has seen the publication of an independent evaluation of the Invest to Save Fund which is operated by the Welsh Government.  The report can be found by following the link below:

http://wales.gov.uk/statistics-and-research/invest-save-fund/?lang=en

The aim of the Invest to Save fund is to support organisations involved in public service delivery, to enable them to make the transition to more efficient, more effective and more sustainable forms of service delivery.  The independent evaluation of the scheme provides the Welsh Government with the opportunity to assess whether or not the stated aims of the fund are indeed being achieved.  It also provides us with a useful and independent view of potential areas for improvement.

I am extremely pleased to note that the report confirms the value of the fund and recognises  the financial and service delivery benefits which have been generated to date.  In particular, the report confirms that the fund responds to drivers such as:

  • focusing on delivering improved public services, improving the collaboration between different public sector bodies
  • the need to support organisations in delivering efficiencies in a challenging financial climate
  • specific issues at a local level which can prevent organisations taking on improvement projects which will improve the efficiency and quality of public service delivery.

The evaluation also found that the fund has generated significant cash savings to date.  It estimates that for every £1 invested £3 has, or will be, generated in terms of gross savings – a gross return of 300%.   The report provides strong, independent evidence that the Welsh Government funded scheme is providing real benefits.  This is all the more important at a time of austerity, when we need to make sure that every pound invested contributes towards better outcomes and standards of service delivery.  

The report contains a total of ten recommendations.  I will be examining the report findings and the recommendations and will report back to the Assembly on my response.