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Departmental Reviews

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what reviews are being undertaken by external experts on behalf of his Department; and what the expected completion date of each is. (219463)

[holding answer 21 July 2008]: The Government Chemist function will be audited by two external experts. The audit takes place every three years. This is part of the Government Chemist agreement between LGC Ltd and the Secretary of State for the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. The Government Chemist is the referee analyst under various Acts of Parliament and is appointed by DIUS Ministers. The forthcoming audit will begin in a few weeks and will probably report by the end of the year.

DWP commissioned Capgemini to undertake a review of the governance arrangements of the joint DWP-DIUS Integrating Employment and Skills programme during July. The formal three weeks review period is over, but they will be completing a small piece of work helping the departments to implement their findings in August.

Lifelong Learning UK, on behalf of DIUS, are in the process of selecting a tender to undertake a review of the impact and effectiveness (including vfm) of FE incentive schemes to recruit and retain FE teachers in the workforce. We expect a report to be produced by end October 2008 that will inform future policy in these areas.

A small scale qualitative survey of 25 FE providers and stakeholder groups is being carried out to gain insight into how they are responding to the FE reforms on simplifying processes and reducing burdens, such as developing proportionate audit and inspection. We expect the final report in early August.