This audit would assess, for selected policy initiatives, whether evidence and data were used effectively in the policy development process, including in advice provided to government.

The audit would also examine the availability of guidance and training material to entities on the effective use of evidence and data in developing policy, as recommended in Auditor-General Report No. 10 2017–18 Design and Monitoring of the National Innovation and Science Agenda. Evidence-based policymaking is not a new concept, but has proven challenging to implement. Essential ingredients include the use of an appropriate methodology, availability of relevant and reliable data, transparency in approach, independence, sufficient time for development, and a receptive policymaking environment.