Departmental business plans demonstrate mainstreaming of sustainable development
Government departments have published their updated business plans for 2012/13, setting out their key priorities and actions to deliver the Coalition’s Programme for Government. The revised business plans include details of how each department is mainstreaming sustainable development in its policy commitments and projects.
Government commitment to mainstreaming sustainable development
Embedding sustainable development in policy, including in business plans, is a key component of the commitment to mainstream sustainable development and has been an area of significant focus and effort for Defra’s sustainable development team.
The newly published business plans now demonstrably mainstream sustainable development with commitments in Structural Reform Plan sections where appropriate, and a sustainable development section in each annex detailing:
- The department’s overall goal with regards to sustainable development;
- A commitment to assess and manage environmental, social and economic impacts and opportunities in each department’s policy development and decision making;
- A commitment to implement the department’s plan to deliver on the Greening Government Commitments, supplying quarterly information and contributing to an annual report on progress;
- A commitment to procure from small businesses with the aspiration that 25% of contracts should be awarded to small and medium enterprises (SMEs);
- Where relevant the department’s relevant proposed headline sustainable development indicators are included to give an overview of the Government’s impact on and contribution to sustainable development.
Addressing sustainable development in the business plan refresh process
Defra’s sustainable development team worked closely with ministers, departments and Number 10 throughout the business plan refresh process, during which draft business plans were subjected to scrutiny at both official and Ministerial level, providing analysis and advice on their sustainable development credentials, as well as providing support and challenge to departmental sustainable development leads.
The Cabinet Office Implementation Unit had overall responsibility for this process, and is accountable to Minister of State for Government Policy Oliver Letwin and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander. Trilateral meetings between the Minister of State for Government Policy, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Secretaries of State took place throughout April and May.
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