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GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS LOOK TO THE FUTURE WITH FORESIGHT

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Government departments and public sector organisations will be ...
Government departments and public sector organisations will be

heavily involved in the latest round of Foresight, according to the

second progress report on Foresight activity across Whitehall.

Science minister Lord Sainsbury said:

'Foresight is about using vision and partnership to prepare for the

challenges of the future. It is central to the government's objective

of enhancing the UK's competitiveness and quality of life.

'I am delighted to see that involvement in Foresight across

government continues to increase. The Foresight emphasis on

forward-looking policy development and the involvement of

stakeholders in the decision-making process, reflect the objectives

for government as outlined in the Modernising Government white paper

published at the end of March.'

The progress report indicates the growing emphasis of Foresight on

policy making and the high level of commitment across Whitehall to

the new round which began on 1 April. Examples include:

DETR and DfEE helping panels to drive forward their work on the

underpinning themes of sustainable development and education,

training and skills respectively.

Departments using Foresight panels to inform long term policy

development. For example, the work of the crime prevention panel is

being funded by the home office and will feed directly into its Crime

Reduction Strategy; and the Scottish Office is working towards

publishing a Scottish Action Plan for Foresight in November 2000.

ongoing action to support initiatives addressing Foresight

priorities, for example through the LINK scheme for pre-competitive

collaborative research.

making most government information available on the worldwide web

accessible and fully searchable through the single access point of

the Foresight knowledge pool. Government departments, research

councils and the wider public sector will also feed material directly

into the knowledge pool to inform the work of Foresight panels and

others.

Notes

Copies of the report, Whitehall Foresight Progress Report March

1999, can be obtained free of charge by faxing a request to the

Office of Science and Technology, 0171 215 6715.

An Audit of Foresight activity across Whitehall was commissioned

in May 1997 by the then president of the Board of Trade, Margaret

Beckett, to assess the level of Foresight activity in government

departments and identify areas where more emphasis was required. The

findings were published on 22 October 1997 and represent a benchmark

against which future progress could be measured. The first progress

report was published in June 1998.

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