Governance

How the Commission is overseen and held accountable as a public body.

An Executive Agency of HM Treasury

The Commission operates independently, at arm’s length from government.

The National Infrastructure Commission was established as an Executive Agency of HM Treasury in January 2017.

The Commission’s purpose, and its principal outputs, accountabilities and duties are set out in its Charter and accompanying Framework Document, which together safeguard the Commission’s 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 Commission.

The Commission’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.

View the Charter View the Framework Document

Accountability

The Commission's work and use of public money is monitored in a range of ways.

The Commission has established an Oversight Board and Audit and Risk Assurance Committee to help monitor the organisation's performance and proper use of public funds.

Oversight Board

The National Infrastructure Commission’s Oversight Board was established on 31 July 2017 to supervise the Commission’s financial management and administrative functions. The role of the Oversight Board is to ensure the Commission 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.

The Oversight Board consists of the Chair of the Commission, a representative of the Treasury, appropriate executive members including the Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer, and non-executive members who may either be Commissioners nominated by the Chair, or external members appointed by the Chair. The current members of the Board are:

  • Sir John Armitt, Chair
  • James Heath, Chief Executive Office and Executive Member
  • Charlotte Goodrich, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Member
  • Michael Brodie, Non-Executive Member
  • Debjani Ghosh, Non-Executive Member
  • Dennis Skinner, Non-Executive Member
  • John Staples, HM Treasury Representative.

The dates of Oversight Board meetings in 2020 are:

  • 29 January
  • 28 April
  • 30 July
  • 3 November.

The Oversight Board’s functions relate to the corporate management of the Commission. It has no role in agreeing or reviewing its policy reports or recommendations.

Audit and Risk Assurance Committee

The Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (ARAC) of the Oversight Board was established on 3 October 2017 to support the board in discharging its responsibilities in relation to issues of risk, control and governance, and of associated assurances.

The independent members of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee are:

  • Michael Brodie, Chair
  • Debjani Ghosh, Deputy Chair
  • Dennis Skinner, Non-Executive Member

The dates of Audit and Risk Assurance Committee meetings in 2020 are:

  • 6 March
  • 16 June
  • 16 September
  • 16 December.

Chief Executive and Senior Management Team

The Chief Executive is responsible for managing the National Infrastructure Commission with oversight from the Oversight Board, and is also the Accounting Officer for the agency.

The Chief Executive is supported by a Senior Management Team comprising the Chief Economist, the Chief Operating Officer and a Director of Policy. This group meets regularly and provides day-to-day oversight of the Commission staff’s activities.

Resources and corporate plan

A multi year financial settlement was agreed between the Commission and HM Treasury covering the years from 2018-19 to 2020-21. This allows the Commission to be confident of its funding and plan across a number of years. Use of these funds is supervised by the Oversight Board.

In all its activities, the Commission operates in line with the principles set out in Managing Public Money and will seek to obtain value for money from its expenditure.

The Commission has published a Corporate Plan for the period up to 2022-23 setting out its governance, objectives and programme of work.

The Commission also benefits from the support of two expert advisory panels.

Latest updates

Commission’s plan to play its part in embedding diversity in infrastructure decision making
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Commission’s plan to play its part in embedding diversity in infrastructure decision making

The National Infrastructure Commission has set out a roadmap for ensuring its own staff team reflects the diversity of the UK, alongside making inclusion a key factor in analysing future policy questions to help infrastructure better serve the needs of all users. The Commission’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2020-23 outlines plans to attract and retain...

1 Sep 2020 By
Dame Kate Barker steps down

Dame Kate Barker steps down

Dame Kate Barker has stepped down as a National Infrastructure Commissioner following her appointment as Chair-elect of the Universities Superannuation Scheme. During her time at the Commission, Dame Kate led policy development on water supply, flooding and on the relationship between housing development and infrastructure. She was one of four Commissioners appointed in April 2017....

3 Apr 2020 By
James Heath appointed National Infrastructure Commission’s Chief Executive

James Heath appointed National Infrastructure Commission’s Chief Executive

James Heath, currently Director of Digital Infrastructure at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the National Infrastructure Commission. James led DCMS through the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review and Telecoms Supply Chain Review, and had overall responsibility for broadband, mobile and telecoms security policy, and the Government’s...

25 Feb 2020 By
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