By Jason Theodorou
Sir Alan Budd will set out a plan to increase the credibility of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), to improve public confidence in the new body's independence following concerns that the OBR had revised growth forecasts downwards.
Sir Alan will propose that the OBR move out of its offices within the Treasury, and make use of fewer Treasury secondees. Mr. Budd also proposes that the Government introduce parliamentary scrutiny to members of the Budgetary Responsibility Committee, who oversee the work of the OBR.
He set out a detailed plan in a letter to Chancellor George Osborne, where he gave a list of recommendations including the relocation of the OBR outside the Treasury, and staffing the body with outside experts and civil servants. Sir Alan is also expected to suggest that parliament's Treasury Select Committee play a key part in senior appointments.
The head of the OBR has found himself under pressure after the Financial Times revealed that the body had changed employment forecasts at the last moment, an act which limited the impact of the emergency Budget on the public.
Sir Alan said: 'We are also able to state, without reservation, that there was no ministerial involvement in the forecasts at any stage. However the fact that we were operating in the Treasury and relying on official resources has raised doubts about our independence in some quarters'.
Former Chancellor Alistair Darling said that the OBR was a good idea 'strangled at birth'.
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