EAC recommended that the National Audit Office (NAO) carry out an analysis of recent RIAs to assess how they have responded to the change in procedures requiring explicit consideration of environmental and social impacts. This briefing responds to the Committee’s request.
Our review was based on a sample of 10 RIAs published since the guidance changed in April 2004, chosen on the basis that they relate to policies with likely environmental and social impacts. We assessed this sample against Better Regulation Executive guidance on RIA development. We invited an expert panel to assess each RIA against the sustainable development issues they would have expected to feature in them. We also surveyed the RIA team in each department producing RIAs, about the arrangements in place and their views of the process.