Inquiry launch: Sustainability in the Home Office

24 March 2014

The Environmental Audit Committee is today launching a new inquiry into Sustainability in the Home Office.

This is the second of a series of inquiries into sustainability in particular government departments.The Committee’s report on Sustainability in BIS was published in November 2013.


The National Audit Office has produced for the Committee a briefing on sustainability in the Home Office, which examines the extent to which sustainability is embedded in the Department’s governance, policy making, operations and procurement.

The NAO’s briefing particularly highlights ‘Green IT’, sustainable procurement, the limited direct influence that the HO has over new Police & Crime Commissioners on environmental matters, and the sustainability of the Asylum accommodation estate.

Terms of reference

The Committee are inviting other evidence on Sustainability in the Home Office by 21 April 2014.

Whilst we welcome submissions on any aspect of Sustainability in the Home Office, we are particularly interested in perspectives that cover the Department’s processes for monitoring sustainability and progress against its targets, the sustainability of its operations, and  policy areas that have environmental or long-term sustainability implications, such as:

  • Opportunities for departments to reduce the environmental impact of IT, including ‘Green ICT’ initiatives.
  • Sustainable procurement, in particular how supply-chains can be made more sustainable.
  • The performance of Police & Crime Commissioners on environmental matters, and the influence that the Home Office has over this.
  • The sustainability of the Asylum accommodation estate.
  • The Home Office’s and Border Force’s role in detecting and preventing illegal trade in wildlife, including CITES species.

Submitting written evidence

As part of a scheme to encourage paperless working and maximise efficiency, the Committee is piloting a new web portal for online submission of written evidence. Written submissions for this inquiry should therefore be sent online.

The personal information you supply will be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 for the purposes of attributing the evidence you submit and contacting you as necessary in connection with its processing. The Clerk of the House of Commons is the data controller for the purposes of the Act. We may also ask you to comment on the process of submitting evidence via the web portal so that we can look to make improvements. If you have any queries or concerns about the collection and use of this information or do not wish your details to be used for the purpose of collecting feedback, please email the Committee providing your full name, address, and if relevant your organisation.

The Committee invites written submissions on these issues by midday on Monday 21 April 2014.

Each submission should:

  1. be no more than 3,000 words in length
  2. be in Word format with as little use logos as possible
  3. have numbered paragraphs
  4. include a declaration of interests.

Please note that:

  • Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included.
  • Memoranda submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless publication by the person or organisation submitting it is specifically authorised.
  • Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.
  • Select Committees are unable to investigate individual cases.

Further information

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