To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the total cost of the Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union to the Department for Work and Pensions and its associated agencies, broken down by (1) staff time, (2) printing costs, (3) running of engagement events, (4) witness expenses, (5) publicity of the reports, and (6) any and all other associated costs.
As you will be aware, the Balance of Competences Review concluded in December. It was the most comprehensive analysis of the UK’s relationship with the EU ever undertaken. The Review involved a large number of Departments across Whitehall to produce the 32 reports. The Review was based on the evidence and views received through widespread consultation with interested parties from across society. Across the whole review, departments received close to 2,300 evidence submissions. Departments held over 250 events, attended by around 2,100 stakeholders.
It was important that what is an unprecedented examination of EU membership was done with appropriate time and care. But the government is also very conscious of the need to ensure value for money in everything that it does.
Work on the Review was allocated according to need to existing staff within the Department. Providing a full breakdown of staff time and costs would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold.
The Department for Work and Pensions contributed to two reports, the Social and Employment Report, led by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, and the Single Market: Free Movement of Persons Report, led by the Home Office. As such, the Department for Work and Pensions did not directly incur any costs. The Department did make a financial contribution to the Home Office in respect of their printing costs.
Across the whole of the Balance of Competences Review witness expenses amounted to approximately £2,255.00