ENVIRONMENTAL AUDIT COMMITTEE

31 October 2005 EAC CALLS FOR RESPONSES TO NAO BRIEFING ON  SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT REPORTING IN GOVERNMENT


31 October 2005 EAC CALLS FOR RESPONSES TO NAO BRIEFING ON  SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT REPORTING IN GOVERNMENT

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) today places on its web-site a briefing prepared for it by the National Audit Office (NAO) in July 2005.  This briefing was undertaken in response to EAC's recommendation in its 2004 Greening Government Report (8th Report of Session 2003-04, HC 881).

Click here to read the NAO briefing on Sustainable Development Reporting in Government

Included in the main findings within the NAO briefing are the facts:

● that only three departmental annual reports used sustainable development as an  explicit over-arching framework for their vision, aims and objectives;

● that few departmental reports made an explicit link between their key policies and the UK government's strategy for sustainable development;  and

● that no departmental report mentioned independent third party verification of departments' sustainable development performance or impact.

The NAO briefing lists a series of issues relating to reporting on sustainable development within government which are condensed below:

● is there an existing standard or model which departments could be encouraged to follow ?

● if not, should there be one ? 

● what would it look like ?

● who might develop it ?

● how would it sit alongside other developments in reporting ?

● where should responsibility for the development of sustainable development reporting lie within government ?

The Committee is looking for responses from outside or inside Government on these issues. Those bodies or individuals interested in commenting on this subject and/or on the NAO briefing to the Committee are encouraged to study the more detailed form of questions set out in the Executive Summary of the NAO briefing.

The Committee expects to consider submissions on this subject early in the New Year.  Written evidence should be sent to the Committee by Friday 16th December.  For printing purposes we require submissions via e-mail to [email protected] in Word format.  We are unable to accept PDFs except for supporting documentation already in the public domain which will not be printed by us.  Although we no longer require a hard copy, it is your responsibility to check that we have received your submission if no email acknowledgement has been received by you. A brief guidance note on the preparation and submission of evidence is available on the Committee's web pages.  For further information on the this inquiry, please telephone 020-7219-0248.