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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(1) how many staff of the Sustainable Development Commission will be (a) transferred to her Department and (b) released following its abolition;
(2) what level of savings she expects to accrue from the abolition of the Sustainable Development Commission in each of the next four financial years.
DEFRA and the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) are currently reviewing evidence as to which SDC staff are eligible to transfer to the Department. This is part of the Cabinet Office Statement of Practice on Staff Transfers in the Public Sector process. Numbers of staff who will transfer or be released from the SDC Whitehall office will be known once this process has been completed.
DEFRA has contributed approximately £2.5 million a year to the SDC's budget. We are determining the scale of any costs arising from the abolition of the SDC as part of the SDC transition project. This will include the cost of redundancy compensation payments as well as salary costs for any staff that transfer into DEFRA. We anticipate that any costs will be outweighed by the long term savings to DEFRA and to Government.
There will be some additional savings from the disbanding of the DEFRA team responsible for managing DEFRA's relationship with the SDC.