HC Deb 02 July 1986 vol 100 cc529-30W
Mr. Cash

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made in implementing the rolling programme of references of nationalised industries to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission; and if he will announce a further programme of references.

Mr. Channon

During 1985 reports were published on the revenue collection systems of four area electricity boards, the British Railways Board: Property Activities, the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board and the British Airports Authority. The report on the water supply services in the Southern water authority's area was published on 16 April 1986 and I hope to publish the report on the South of Scotland Electricity Board during the summer.

The commission is currently investigating the British Steel Corporation and the Post Office's procurement activities.

I decided that in view of current proposals for modernising the Post Office's counters service it would have been inappropriate to proceed with the counters reference planned in 1985.

I am anxious that our commitment to a worthwhile programme of efficiency audits of the public sector should continue. I hope shortly to announce the terms of reference for an inquiry into the British Waterways Board. As soon as the commission completes its outstanding work on the existing inquiries I propose to make references covering the remainder of 1986 including a re-reference of British Rail's network south-east, and an aspect of the Central Electricity Generating Board.

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