§ Mr. Meacher
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security to whom the Occupational Pensions Board is responsible: whether it or its members are subject to(a) surcharge, (b) investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner, (c) scrutiny by the Audit Commission or National Audit Office, (d) the statutory provisions for open government which apply to local authorities, (e) performance indicators and (f) provisions under the citizens charters; and whether the chairpersons and members of the boards of each of these bodies are required to declare an interest.
§ Mr. Hague
The Occupational Pensions Board—OPB—is an independent statutory body established by the Social Security Act 1973. It is composed of a chairman, deputy chairman and up to 12 other members, appointed by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. The board has an executive office whose officials are made available by the Secretary of State.
The OPB is not subject to a surcharge, nor is it listed in schedule 2 to the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967, as among the bodies subject to investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration. It is subject to scrutiny by the National Audit Office under the National Audit Act 1983. The OPB is not subject to the provisions for open government which apply to local authorities, not to performance indicators, but is committed to the principles of the citizens charter. The board's constitution requires the chairman, deputy chairman and other members of the board to declare an interest, whether financial or otherwise, in any issue under consideration and to withdraw from the meeting when there is a serious conflict of interest.