The NIC was established as an Executive Agency of HM Treasury on 24 January 2017.
The NIC’s purpose, and its principal outputs, accountabilities and duties are set out in its published Charter, which safeguards its discretion over its work programme and the independence of its reports and recommendations. The Charter also sets out the balance of responsibility between the government and the NIC.
National Infrastructure Commission
- Lord Adonis (Chair)
- Sir John Armitt (Deputy Chair)
- Dame Kate Barker
- Professor Tim Besley
- Professor David Fisk
- Andy Green
- Dr Demis Hassabis
- Professor Sadie Morgan
- Julia Prescot
- Bridget Rosewell
The role of the NIC is to provide advice and make independent recommendations to government on national infrastructure priorities. Its objectives are to: (i) support sustainable economic growth across all regions of the UK, (ii) improve competitiveness and (iii) improve quality of life. The NIC’s core responsibilities are to produce:
- a National Infrastructure Assessment once in every Parliament, setting out the NIC’s assessment of long-term infrastructure needs with recommendations to the government.
- specific studies on pressing infrastructure challenges as set by the government taking into account the views of the NIC and stakeholders. These studies will include recommendations to the government.
- an annual monitoring report, taking stock of the government’s progress in areas where it has committed to taking forward recommendations of the NIC.
The NIC carries out its work in line with a remit set by government, but within the context of that remit has sole responsibility for its reports and recommendations.
The NIC’s operational independence is central to the credibility of its advice and the effective delivery of its responsibilities. To support this, it seeks to perform its duties objectively, transparently and impartially.
An Oversight Board will be established to supervise the NIC’s financial management and administrative functions. The role of the Oversight Board will be to ensure the NIC has the staff and support it needs to enable it to provide high quality advice to the government and to provide assurance that effective internal control and risk management systems are in place. An audit and risk committee of the Oversight Board will also be established.
The Oversight Board will consist of the Chair of the Commission, a representative of the Treasury, appropriate executive members including the Chief Executive, and non-executive members who may either be Commissioners nominated by the Chair, or external members appointed by the Chair.
The Oversight Board’s functions relate to the corporate management of the NIC and it has no role in agreeing or reviewing its policy reports or recommendations.
Chief Executive and Senior Management Team
The NIC’s Chief Executive is responsible for managing the NIC with oversight from the Oversight Board and is Accounting Officer for the agency.
The Chief Executive is supported by a Senior Management Team comprising the Chief Economist and Policy and Engagement Director, which provides day-to-day oversight of the NIC staff’s activities.
Resources and Corporate Plan
A multi-year financial settlement will be agreed between the NIC and HM Treasury covering the years from 2017-18 to 2019-20. This will allow the NIC to be confident of its funding and plan across a number of years. Use of these funds will be supervised by the NIC’s Oversight Board.
In all its activities, the NIC will operate in line with the principles set out in Managing Public Money and will seek to obtain value for money from its expenditure.
The NIC has published a Corporate and Business Plan for 2017-18 to 2019-20 setting out its governance, objectives and the programme of work.
The NIC is supported by a team of approximately 35 staff. The NIC aims to ensure that its staff brings together a range of public and private sector skills and experience, relevant to the specific projects and workstreams it is undertaking. Its current staff comprises direct employees of the NIC, civil servants on loan from a number of relevant departments (including DfT, BEIS and Defra), and secondees from local authorities, regulators and the private sector.
Expert Advisory Panels
The NIC has also set up two expert advisory panels, one analytical and one technical, which:
- Act as a sounding board for emerging thinking and methodologies and provide the Commission with a range of perspectives related to its work;
- Expose documents to additional scrutiny prior to publication;
- Advise on the quality, limitations, and appropriate uses of research carried out by, or on behalf of the Commission;
- Advise on specific issues and problems;
- Help the Commission to establish and maintain relationships with other experts and stakeholders, where appropriate.
The advisory panels are comprised of the following members: