§ Mr. Rooker
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will issue a direction to the British Gas Corporation to refrain from using independent debt collection agencies.
§ Mr. John Smith
No. As a general policy British Gas carries out debt collection work with its own staff. Agencies are only used on a limited scale, mainly for the collection of long outstanding debts and this will be discontinued when regions currently undermanned can acquire extra trained staff in suitable numbers.