The Government is reviewing the cost of the chauffeur-driven BMW service for ministers as part of its savings drive, briefings to incoming ministers revealed yesterday.

The briefing to Prime Minister John Key on Ministerial Services - which manages ministers - says the department was reviewing the pricing regime charged by VIP Transport, which provides the service to ministers.

The BMW fleet has been controversial and cost about $8 million last year - $500,000 more than usual because of the World Cup.

The paper said the review was aimed at ensuring charges were "more transparent, accurate and better aligned with actual usage".


The paper also says ministerial houses were to be assessed to ensure they were earthquake-safe. And Mr Key was warned he was not exempt from the Government's demands for costs savings across the public sector: the paper says he would have to work with other ministers who were under the umbrella of the Department of Internal Affairs to ensure they all met savings targets by mid-July.

The amount of savings tagged was not revealed. However, the Government has set a target of $980 million in savings from the state sector over the next three years.

The briefing to Mr Key also commented on a law change under which the Remuneration Authority will set travel and accommodation allowances for ministers as well as MPs.

The paper said the change was expected this year and Mr Key would be consulted about extra travel and accommodation services ministers might need.