The new Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (DBIS) was formed in June 2009 by the merger of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS). This Report looks back on the last Departmental Report of the old Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and considers the progress made in moving forward the new Department.
Departmental officials told us that they were pleased with the progress that had been made in creating the new Department, although the Permanent Secretary confessed that the successful management of the high number of delivery partners in the new Department was a risk.
We consider in this report a number of specific issues. We believe that bringing together the business sector and the further and higher education sectors under one Department has the potential to offer significant benefits to both sides.
We recognise that the Department is managing the merger process well and welcome the fact that the up-front costs of the merger will be absorbed through existing budgets and savings.
Lastly, we highlight what we believe to be failings in the Department's Automotive Assistance Programme. We support the programme and are concerned that it has yet to provide anything like the assistance promised to industry when the programme was first announced.