Treasury expects all departments to evaluate the ex post impacts and costs of all their interventions, including spending, taxation and regulation. This activity should provide valuable information on the cost-effectiveness of government interventions, for the purposes of accountability and to learn lessons to improve current and future policies.

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This review complements the work we published in 2011 on option appraisal, which assesses prospective costs and benefits of planned interventions. It examines the coverage, quality, use and resource costs of evaluation activity conducted or commissioned by government departments. It is aimed at staff responsible for commissioning, producing and using evaluation evidence within departments. There are specific findings which will also be of interest to the Treasury and Cabinet Office.

December 2013