HC Deb 26 June 2003 vol 407 c936W
Bob Spink

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the Treasury's regulatory impact assessment procedure; and how many regulatory impact assessments have been reviewed in respect of the department over the last year. [120753]

Dawn Primarolo

A Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) must be completed for all policy proposals that have a potential impact on businesses, charities or the voluntary sector. It includes details of the arrangements for monitoring and evaluating policy proposals and their impact.

Information on the number of RIAs that have been reviewed by the Treasury, Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise in the last year is not held centrally.

From this year the National Audit Office (NAO) has a new role in independently evaluating a selection of RIAs. In their Annual Report, published in February 2003, the Better Regulation Task Force put forward suggestions of RIAs for the NAO to review. The NAO review will focus on the quality of analysis in the RIAs and the thoroughness with which the RIAs have been undertaken. The findings and recommendations of best practice will be fed back to departments and aims to improve the standards of RIAs across Government.