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Treasury spending review audited by NAO for environmental impact

31 October 2015

The Environmental Audit Committee has commissioned the National Audit Office to audit the Treasury's Spending Review process for its environmental impact.

Chair's comment

Environmental Audit Committee Chair, Huw Irranca-Davies MP said: 

"Addressing environmental risks sooner rather than later can bring significant benefits for businesses, the economy and citizens. It is crucial that the Government's spending decisions do not saddle future taxpayers with higher costs as a result of avoidable damage to human health or the environment.

"We have asked the National Audit Office to assess whether the Spending Review process is informed by the best available evidence on the environmental impact of Government policies and fully takes into account the UK's legal commitments on air quality, biodiversity and climate change."

NAO review 

The NAO will review the extent to which the Spending Review process acts as an effective medium-term spending and planning tool in relation to government's environmental protection and sustainable development objectives. The NAO's work will include consideration of the extent to which spending review decisions are informed by:

  • strong evidence on long-term environmental risks and impacts
  • a framework that considers environmental risks/impacts and legal commitments alongside economic and social risks/impacts
  • a fully integrated view of interventions across organisational boundaries 

The NAO's work will also review the link between the Spending Review, departmental priorities and government's environmental and sustainability metrics, drawing on a briefing for the Environmental Audit Committee. Well-informed decisions are supported by ongoing performance information to review progress and hold organisations to account. The NAO's work will also build on its 2012 report on managing budgeting in government.


The Government's Spending Review, published on 25 November 2015, sets out how the government intends to both invest in priority public services and deliver the £20 billion further savings required to eliminate Britain's deficit by 2019/2020.

Further information

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