Review Of AFBI Under Way

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The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has announced it is to undertake a periodic review of the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI).

All public bodies are subject to periodic review to ensure they remain effective and accountable. DAERA’s review of AFBI will follow the Cabinet Office’s Tailored Review approach.

In the first instance it will examine the role of AFBI before considering its capacity for delivering more effectively and efficiently as well as ensuring the governance arrangements in place meet recognised principles of good corporate governance.

The review, which starts this month and will be completed by March 2018, will be comprehensive, constructive and beneficial to both AFBI and the Department.

As part of the process, there will be an opportunity for organisations and individuals to provide information to the review. This will include an online questionnaire, which will be publicised in due course.

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AFBI is an executive Non-Departmental Public Body, sponsored by DAERA. It  was established in 2006 under The Agriculture (Northern Ireland) Order 2004 which provides AFBI with the power to undertake scientific work in the fields of agriculture, animal health and welfare, food, fisheries, forestry, the natural environment, and rural development and enterprise.

It exists primarily to provide DAERA with a range of statutory, analytical and diagnostic scientific services, research and development and an emergency response capability. It also serves the agri-food industry and wider community in a local, national and international context by delivering high quality scientific services.

The review will be guided by the most recent UK government guidance available “Tailored reviews: Guidance on Review of Public BodiesCabinet Office, November 2016.