The government has set the limit for the NHS commissioning system’s running costs at £2bn for 2013-14, including £676m for the NHS Commissioning Board itself.

The figures are set out in the government’s financial directions to the commissioning board, published today alongside its NHS mandate, which sets out requirements for service improvement.

The directions set the board’s total funding at £95.6bn. That will cover the services it will directly commissions, including some public health services, budgets it will pass to clinical commissioning groups and running costs. It is also expected to cover some other items which are currently unclear.

Of that total, the directions say, £92.6bn will be recurrent funding, £1.2bn is the “assumed NHS starting surplus”, and £1.8bn is the “ring fenced” budget for public health services commissioned by the board.

The directions also set the maximum the board and the CCGs which it will oversee will be allowed to spend on administration in 2013-14.

The total administration limit is £2bn. That includes £676m for the board itself, reduced to £663m after technical adjustments. It appears to be a slight increase from the £635m budget the board had expected to receive in April. It is not yet clear what the additional £28m will be spent on.

The figures appear to leave a running cost cap of about £1.3bn for CCGs – funding their management allowance, which has been set at £25 per head of population.

The DH’s total planned running cost budget for 2013-14 is 3.7bn, so there is £1.7bn remaining for the DH itself and other arms-length bodies.

The DH has yet to specify the basis on which it allocated the £95.6bn to the commissioning board. The total allocation to primary care trusts for 2012-13 was £91.6bn.