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Animals Scientific Procedures Inspectorate and Division (ASPI&D) is responsible for managing the licensing and inspection procedures for animal experimentation on behalf of the Home Office. In 2009 over 3.6 million scientific procedures were carried out on animals, a fall of around one per cent from the previous year.

The Home Office Value for Money and Productivity Unit (VfMPU) has a series of initiatives to help managers in the Home Office to increase their efficiency and effectiveness. As part of this programme Collinson Grant was asked to provide support for the VfMPU's Programme Director and her team who were assisting ASPI&D.

We helped the staff in the VfMPU to understand the complex data sets they had collected from ASPI&D so that they could develop options to restructure the business. The aim was to achieve better performance and seek to reduce dramatically the cost of the licensing and inspection process. Our emphasis was on helping the project director to analyse the core streams of work, to determine how tasks were allocated and to assess the different scenarios for reducing costs whilst maintaining performance and improving the service to customers. We used a structured analysis to generate reliable data and then used the model:

  • to devise and put in place a plan to reduce costs quickly
  • to retain and strengthen the ability to respond to new opportunities
  • to manage a programme of redundancies.

One complication was the complexity and sensitivity of the licensing process. There were also a number of difficult performance issues to resolve that managers had failed to face up to. Our proposals generated payroll savings in excess of 25 per cent and reduced the number of locations from five to three over a two-year period.

Sylvia Hart - Programme Director, Home Office said:

"We needed some help so I turned to Collinson Grant to use their expertise in achieving sustainable cost reductions. Initially we had not looked at the full national infrastructure as a cost saving opportunity but with CG's support we quickly turned around the project and were able to offer substantial savings back to the business. - Just what is needed in the current financial climate, without jeopardizing performance or quality"