As someone who works in DWP he could saves billions from the admin budget alone if he really is interested in hearing from (some of) the frontline.
Quite simply, we could deliver the same core service with half the current staff if bad staff were sacked or effectively dealt with, if the ridiculous 9.5 days privilege leave was ceased, if levels of management were cut, a few legislative tweaks were introduced and local budgets were given to real managers.
Some examples: when the recession hit it was decided to knock through a partition wall between two rooms to make a larger room. A bit of paint, twenty chairs and it cost £250k. How on earth it cost so much I'll never understand. Each of our desks has two metal "desk tidies", and each one cost £200. WTF? We had a bolt installed on a finance door. A bog-standard bolt, probably wouldn't cost more than a tenner. Cost to the taxpayer? £150.
I am inspired to make suggestions to IDS, but wonder whether my attempts will be intercepted by his staff (all senior civil servants) who at the end of the day prefer empire-building to genuine reform.
I have offered to pass on J's suggestions directly to IDS. I suspect this comment could be mirrored across government departments. If there are civil servants reading this who have suggestions for savings in their departments, I'd happily pass them on to the ministers concerned.