HC Deb 07 April 1978 vol 947 cc246-9W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will publish details of the boards, commissions, committees or other types of organisations established by his Department since October 1974, giving in each case the purpose of the organisation, the chairman's and members' salaries and expenses, and the total cost of the organisation for each year since 1974.

Mr. Benn

Details of boards, and so on, set up since October 1974 are as follows:

Date established Title Function
May 1975 Offshore Energy Technology Board To advise and assist the Secretary of State for Energy on how best to evaluate, promote and secure technological developments leading to improvements in:
(i) the efficient and economic exploitation of the oil and gas resources on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf;
(ii) the standards laid down by the Department in pursuance of its statutory responsibilities for safety; and
(iii) the competitiveness of British industry in the field of offshore oil and gas.
In particular, the Board will:
(a) identify those areas which, on grounds of safety and/or commercial opportunity, will most benefit by research and development support by the Department of Energy;
(b) advise on the objectives, priorities and balance of research and development programmes to support the Department's policies within the broad allocation of funds available; and
(c) review progress made.
1st January 1976 British National Oil Corporation. To exercise the State's participation rights in the United Kingdom sector of the Continental Shelf; to explore for and exploit petroleum from the United Kingdom sector of the Continental Shelf; and to undertake other functions pursuant to the Petroleum and Submarine Pipe-lines Act 1975.
February 1976 Offshore Industry Liaison Committee (i) The Committee should consider ways of improving the United Kingdom offshore supplies competitive capability having regard particularly:
(a) to the desirability of securing an adequate level of ordering, thus helping to ensure continuity of employment and adequacy of training, and
(b) to the problems arising from cost escalation;
(ii) The Committee should seek means of improving the capability and the level of United Kingdom content in the orders placed by operators on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf whilst encouraging industry to take advantage of the scope for exports;
(iii) The Committee should identify and examine in depth such problems as might be raised by any member, or outside source, and monitor any action recommended;
(iv) The Committee should establish a close relationship with other bodies such as the Offshore Supplies Office and the National Economic Development Office to avoid any duplication of effort or overlap in study or research into problems identified by the Committee; and to co-ordinate their efforts with the Government's broader industrial strategy.
November 1977 Energy Commission To advise and assist the Secretary of State for Energy on the development of a strategy for energy related matters in the United Kingdom, and to advise the Secretary of State on such specific aspects of energy policy as he may from time to time refer to them.

Apart from British National Oil Corporation, members of these bodies are unpaid, but may be reimbursed expenses incurred in carrying out the business of the body concerned. The cost of the committee of inquiry into the electricity industry in England and Wales is estimated to have been £24,684. Records of expenditure of others listed are not kept in the form requested, and provision of the information would involve disproportionate costs.

In the case of the British National Oil Corporation, current annual salaries are: Chairman—£29,985 (voluntarily not drawn) Member (full-time)—£20,695. Members (part-time) 7—£1,000; 2—Unpaid. General financial information on the corporation is given in its annual report.