The Tools of Public Expenditure Control
The process referred to by the Treasury is the annual and continuing cycle of expenditure estimates, bargaining and allocation. The present method of allocation, the Public Expenditure Survey System (referred to as PESC from the Public Expenditure Survey Committee), was instituted in 1961. Its use results in the annual White Paper published around the turn of the year, the latest one being The Government’s Expenditure Plans 1978–79 to 1981–82 (Cmnd 7049, vols 1 and 11, 1978). The spending plan is split up into individual programmes, and energy related matters feature in three of these. The Trade, Industry and Employment programme contains the estimates for energy research, including the separate nuclear allocation; some support for the nationalized industries also come under this heading. The main bulk of spending on the nationalized energy industries comes under the programme for government lending to nationalized industries, while any energy research financed by, for example, the Science Research Council, comes within the Education and Libraries, Science and Arts programme. The programmes themselves are not given in any great detail, so it is impossible to judge, for example, how much money is being spent on R and D for novel energy sources.
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