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The Treasury and Whitehall: The Planning and Control of Public Expenditure, 1976-1993

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Author Info

  • Thain, Colin

    (University of Ulster)

  • Wright, Maurice

    (University of Manchester)

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    Abstract

    The Treasury is at the heart of British Government, responsible for deciding how much to spend and on what. Both the institution and the public expenditure process are the focus of `The Treasury and Whitehall', a tour de force of contemporary policy analysis. Based on research undertaken with the cooperation of the Treasury and Whitehall departments, it shows how the key decisions of planning, allocating and controlling public expenditure are made. With unique access to treasury Expenditure Controllers and senior financial officials in the main spending departments, the book provides a detailed and authoritative account of the roles, relationships and inter-actions of the key players in Whitehall Expenditure Community as they confront each other in annual rituals of the Expenditure 'Survey'. Thain and Wright explain how the rules of the expenditure game were re-drawn in the 1980s in the relentless search for cuts, greater economy and efficiency in the design and delivery of public services, and the creation of a more enterprising administrative culture. The authors explain how and why the Treasury was rarely able to impose its constitutional authority to stem the tide of rising public expenditure through the turbulent years of the Thatcher and Major Governments. They show that the Treasury is locked into a system of mutually constrained power-relationships with the Whitehall departments, and obliged to negotiate discretionary authority to control their spending.

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    Bibliographic Info

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    This book is provided by Oxford University Press in its series OUP Catalogue with number 9780198277842 and published in 1995.

    ISBN: 9780198277842
    Order: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780198277842.do
    Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780198277842

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    Web page: http://www.oup.com/

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    Cited by:
    1. G. Thomas & Neal Jesse, 2012. "Social Well-Being in Northern Ireland: A Longitudinal Study 1958–1998," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 106(2), pages 199-212, April.

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