Friday, 23 January 2009

DIUS: Committee Verdict

The House of Commons Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee (chaired by Mr Phil Willis MP) have published their DIUS Departmental Report 2008 (Third Report of Session 2008-09).

The report suggests that communication within the department needs to be improved, moving away from jargon towards an increased level of transparency with ‘independently verified statistics’. The role of innovation in terms of how it is used within the department and how it is supported by the department was also scrutinised, with the report calling for ‘a clear statement from DIUS explaining how it is going to manage innovation and financial risk’.

The work of the new Government Chief Scientific Adviser was also reviewed, noting a change in approach in comparison with his predecessor. While some of the changes he is making (such as the speeding up of departmental science reviews) are welcomed, there are concerns that his ‘collegiate approach and desire to work within the Whitehall machine’ may muted the ‘customary, strong public voice from the Government Chief Scientific Adviser’.

Read the report in full online.

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