What we do

The Commission's role and remit for advising on economic infrastructure

Our role

Providing impartial, expert advice on major long term infrastructure challenges.

The Commission provides government with impartial, expert advice on major long term infrastructure challenges. While the Commission carries out its work in accordance with the remit and terms of reference for specific studies set by the government, it has complete discretion to determine its own work programme and recommendations.

Objectives

The Commission’s objectives are to:

  • support sustainable economic growth across all regions of the UK
  • improve competitiveness; and
  • improve quality of life.

Sectors

The Commission advises government on all sectors of economic infrastructure, defined as: energy, transport, water and wastewater (drainage and sewerage), waste, flood risk management and digital communications. It also considers interactions between its infrastructure recommendations and housing supply. The Commission’s role does not cover housing (as a distinct area), social infrastructure, land use or agriculture.

The Commission does not reopen decision-making processes where programmes and work have been decided (or are due to be decided immediately after a Commission report is published), or reopen closed price control settlements in regulated utilities. When making its recommendations, the Commission takes account of the role of economic regulators in regulating infrastructure providers and the government’s legal obligations, such as carbon reduction targets.

Core responsibilities

We are committed to delivering the following core pieces of work:

  • a National Infrastructure Assessment once in every Parliament, setting out the Commission’s assessment of long term infrastructure needs, with recommendations to government
  • specific studies on pressing infrastructure challenges as set by government
  • an Annual Monitoring Report, taking stock of the government’s progress towards previously accepted recommendations.

We aim to work collaboratively with relevant bodies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, including the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales and the Infrastructure Commission for Scotland. Our work focuses on England and non devolved UK wide areas of economic infrastructure (notably energy).

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