HC Deb 26 June 1987 vol 118 cc7-8W
Mr. Patrick Thompson

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when the Monopolies and Mergers Commission report on the transmission activities of the Central Electricity Generating Board will be published.

Mr. Maude

The report is published today.

The commission was asked to report whether the CEGB could improve its efficiency and thereby reduce its costs in discharging its functions for the transmission of electricity in bulk.

The commission found that the CEGB generally manages the transmission function efficiently in the interests of its customers (that is, mainly, the area boards) and in discharge of its statutory duty. However, the commission found room for improvement in some aspects of management and organisation. The report identifies a failure so far to manage effectively a major new computer project for grid control and points to a number of other areas of weakness. The report makes a number of recommendations for improvement. In certain cases the CEGB already has remedies in hand.

Nothing learnt in the inquiry casts doubt upon the technological competence of the CEGB in its transmission of electricity in bulk. In particular, the CEGB maintains a very high level of security of supply through its transmission network (as was evident during the severe weather during the early months of the year). The commission found no course of conduct by the CEGB which operates against the public interest.