Triennial Reviews of the Science Advisory Council and the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment

Closed 30 Apr 2014

Opened 25 Mar 2014


On 25th March 2014, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for natural environment and science, Lord de Mauley, announced the start of the Triennial Reviews of the Science Advisory Council (SAC) and the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE).   The Written Ministerial Statement announcing the Reviews and the Terms of Reference are included below.

This is part of the government’s rolling programme of Triennial Reviews of public bodies to consider whether the functions carried out by the body are still required and whether the delivery model is right and offers value for money.

The Defra Science Advisory Council (SAC) is an Advisory Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) sponsored by Defra. It was first set up in 2004 to challenge and support the Department’s Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) in independently assuring and challenging the evidence underpinning Defra policies and ensuring that the evidence programme meets Defra’s needs. The Council communicates its advice to the CSA, and through the CSA to Ministers.

The Defra Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment is a statutory advisory committee appointed under section 124 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.  It provides statutory advice to the UK government and the Devolved Administrations on the risks to human health and the environment from the release and marketing of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

These Reviews are an opportunity to ensure that the functions of the SAC and the ACRE are still required and that operating as an Advisory NDPB is the best model for the delivery of these functions.  The Reviews will be conducted in accordance with Government guidance for reviewing Non-Departmental Public Bodies.

To submit any information to inform these Reviews, please contact the Triennial Reviews Team by 30 April 2014.

Email to:

Write to:

Triennial Reviews Team,
Area 6B,
Nobel House,
17 Smith Square,


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