§ Mr. Kenneth Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he has received the report of Sir Alan Marre into the causes of the error in paragraph 63 of report no. 7 of the Standing Commission on pay comparability.
§ Mr. Prior
My center hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science and I have received the report and copies are being placed in the Library. We accept its conclusions. Sir Alan Marre found that, whilst there were a number of factors which 454W help to explain how the error originated, the Office of Manpower Economics was at fault in not ensuring that the information on the starting salaries of graduates entering teaching, on which the Commission's recommendations rested, was checked before the Commission's report was completed and sent to the Prime Minister. The omission resulted from an inexcusable confusion within the OME over whose responsibility it was to check the facts. Sir Alan Marre does not criticise any one individual for this, but recommends that the respective responsibilities of OME staff should be clarified and set down in writing. In accordance with this recommendation, instructions have been issued within the OME in order to ensure that any such confusion does not occur again. Although the Commission itself believed it center to accept responsibility for the error, Sir Alan Marre concluded that this responsibility was no more than formal.