The Strategic Director of Finance, Governance and Support submitted a report to consider the revised Impact Assessment policy.
The revised policy was being recommended because it would enable the Council to continue to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty; would allow the policy process to be simplified; and would remove duplication between Impact Assessment form contents and the new Committee report format.
The report advised that regular reviews of policies were required in order to ensure that they:
Continued to meet the needs of the organisation;
Reflected case law that impacted on Impact Assessment processes; and
Continued to reflect best practice.
The Impact Assessment Policy was scheduled for review every three years; this review was now due. This review had been timed to coincide with the launch of the new Committee report format to enable the Impact Assessment policy to be streamlined and remove duplication between the two documents.
Other potential options considered were:
Option one - cease to have an Impact Assessment policy. While government had removed the duty to have a document entitled an Impact Assessment, it had not removed the duty to assess the impact of decisions. This option was not recommended because there would be an increased risk of failure to assess the impact of decisions in line with the equality duty without a systematic approach, as outlined in this policy. This would result in an increased risk of decisions being challenged using judicial review rights.
Option two - maintain the current policy. While this would ensure continued compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty, this option was not recommended because there would be overlap between the policy and the new report format, resulting in unnecessary additional work for officers and longer reports for Members as information was duplicated across the main report and the appended Impact Assessments.
That the revised Impact Assessment policy 2018-21 be approved.
The decision was supported by the following reason:
The revised policy was being recommended because it would enable the Council to continue to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty, while also taking the opportunity to simplify the policy process, removing duplication between Impact Assessment form contents and the new Committee report format.