Science and Engineering (SEA) review programme
Over the next two years, the SEA team will conduct reviews of the major Whitehall Departments which were not included in the first series of reviews.
SEA reviews aim to support departments to ensure they have the capability to access, manage, quality assure and use science effectively in strategy and policy making. They provide credible, externally verified assurance that the policy and practice of a Department reflects the best evidence available. Ultimately, they should enhance a Department’s capability to deliver their business objectives.
Different scientific disciplines will be more or less relevant to different departments, but for the SEA programme ‘science and engineering’ is understood to include the physical, biological, engineering, medical, natural and social disciplines.
Based on feedback from previous reviews, the new SEA reviews are designed to be agile, flexible and efficient, reporting after 3 months of their initiation. They will be outcome focused, by assessing how evidence is used to support the delivery of business objectives. The SEA review team will be joined by an expert panel, whose members will be integral to the scoping, evidence gathering and reporting stages of the review.
Each review will produce a report which will include a small number of focused, strategic recommendations, designed to add value.
The current Science and Engineering Assurance Review Programme will finish by the end of 2012 following the review of HM Treasury. Recent changes announced in the Civil Service Reform plan provide an opportunity to take stock of lessons learned from the current SEA review programme and to consider the most appropriate mechanism for the Successor Science Review Programme.
A Working Group of Chief Scientific Advisers, with representatives from the Cabinet Office and from other analytical professions, has been set up to develop the Successor Science Review Programme.