Science: Government Departments

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 13th October 2011.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans he has to include (a) non-departmental public bodies, (b) advisory bodies, (c) executive agencies, (d) public corporations and (e) other central Government public bodies in his review of science in Government Departments under the Science and Engineering Assurance programme.

Photo of David Willetts David Willetts Minister of State (Universities and Science)

The Science and Engineering Assurance review programme is directed by the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Sir John Beddington and managed by his staff in the Government Office for Science.

The Science and Engineering Assurance programme is focused on Whitehall's ministerial Departments, and is scheduled to be completed early in 2012.

These reviews do consider how departments draw evidence and advice from their relevant arm’s length bodies, but the bodies themselves are not reviewed as part of the process.

On completion of the programme, Sir John is not planning to continue to review Departments in the same way. Work is under way to develop a successor to the review programme. At this stage there are no plans to extend it to Departments' arm’s length bodies.

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