Country Profile: United Kingdom

AuthorNaldini, Andrea; Pompili, Marco; Peruccacci, Eleonora
Int roduct ion
The United Kingdom is a cent ralised countr y, and Her Majesty ’s ( HM) Governm ent is in
charge of defining policies and supervising their implement ation throughout t he
cou nt ry . More ov er, HM Gove rn me nt est ab lish es t ha t all po lici es ( als o St at e aid schem es)
should b e subject to evaluat ion. HM Tr easury produced the Green and Magenta Books,
which are publicly available and provide general guidance on how to conduct appraisal
(Green) and ev aluat ion (Magenta) in Government . Central Gover nm ent, through the
Departm ent for B usin ess, Ene rgy a nd I ndu str ial St ra teg y (BEI S) , is th e m ain r esp onsi ble
for evaluations.
28.1. Sect ion 1 - National r ules for t he evaluation of St ate aid schem es
28.1 .1 . Obligat ion or lack ther eof to evaluat e
HM Gove rnm ent st ates t hatAll policies, pr ogr amm es a nd proj ects shou ld b e subj ect to
com preh ensive but proport ionat e evaluation, wher e pract icable t o do so ( Magen ta
Book, 2011) 231. State aid in th e United Kingdom falls with in t his general requ irem ent . A
number of docum ents released by HM Gover nm ent r ein force t he im portance of
evaluation in public policy. Managing Public Money232 states t hatone of the essentials
of ef fect ive internal decisi on m aki ng is a fter-the-eve nt evaluation of policy, pr oject and
pr ogrammes out put s and out com es( HM Treasu ry, 2012)233. Furth er guidan ce from HM
Government in th e Impact Assessm ent Guidance adds that ‘measures that inclu de a
statut ory review provision sh ould be formally reviewed wit hin five y ears of enactm ent ,
and t hen regularly on a f ive-year cy cle. The m ain veh icle for t his rev iew should be a
post-implement at ion review (PIR). PIRs should be proport ionat e, ranging from light-
t ouch t o e con om ic e val uat ion ’ (NA O, 2 01 3) 234. The ba sic app roa ch is a ppl ied to al l s ect ors
wh ere HM Govern ment comm its public funds235. To be clear , t he evaluat ion of St ate aid
is tr eat ed in t he same w ay as th e evalu atio n of a ny maj or Gover nment pr ogr amm e and
is required to be informed by the Green Book and the Magenta Book.
28.1 .2 . Proced ures t o enfor ce t he o bligation
A r ecen t Nation al Au dit Office (NAO) Repo rt 236 stat es: Treas ury expect s all depart ment s
to eval uate t he ex po st im pact s and cost s of al l thei r int ervent ions, inclu ding spending ,
taxation and regulation. This activity should p rovide valuable information on the cost -
effect iveness of government intervent ions, for t he purposes of accoun tabilit y an d to
learn lessons to im prove cu rrent and fut ure po licies’. This applies t o St ate aid.
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