§ Mr. Kilfoyle
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will list his Department's advisory non-departmental public bodies which are required to publish their advice to Government;
(2) if he will list the advisory non-departmental public bodies sponsored by his Department what are required to lay their annual reports before Parliament;
(3) if he will list his Department's advisory non-departmental public bodies which are required to produce annual reports;
(4) if he will list the advisory bodies he has set up in his Department since the publication of "Public Bodies 1993";
(5) if he will list the advisory non-departmental public bodies sponsored by his Department which have a statutory basis;
(6) if he will list those of his Department's advisory non-departmental public bodies which the Government are required to consult prior to legislation proposals; and in respect of which bodies the Government must publish their response to advice supplied by them.
§ Mr. Gummer
My Department currently sponsors 14 advisory non-departmental public bodies, information 17W about which is in the table below. Publication of advice and reports is usually for the NDPBs and the Department to determine rather than a statutory requirement. "Going for Green" and the Government's panel on sustainable development have yet to determine their working methods. Those two bodies, plus the Assessment Panel for Construction Research and the Local Government Staff Commission (England) have been set up since the qualifying date for "Public Bodies 1993".
There are statutory requirements for Ministers to consult the Advisory Committee on Hazardous Substance,
Advisory non-departmental public body Date set up Advice published Produces annual report Report laid before Parliament Statutory basis Advisory Committee on Business and the Environment 1991 Yes Regular progress reports Progress reports placed in the Library No Advisory Committee on Hazardous Substances 1991 Available for public scrutiny Yes Placed in the Library Environmental Protection Act 1990, s.140 Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment 1990 Available on public registers Yes No Environmental Protection Act 1990, s.124 Assessment Panel for Construction Research 1994 No Yes No No Black Country Limestone Advisory Panel 1983 Yes Yes No No Building Regulations Advisory Committee 1962 Some papers available on request No. n/a Building Act 1984, s.14 Going for Green 1994 — — — No Government's Panel on Sustainable Development 1994 — — — No Inland Waterways Amenity Advisory Council 1968 Sometimes Yes No Transport Act 1968, s.110 Local Government Commission for England 1992 Yes Yes Yes Local Government Act 1992, s.12 Local Government Staff Commission (England) 1993 Yes No n/a Local Government Act 1992, s.23 Property Advisory Group 1978 No No n/a No Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee 1978 Normally published Yes Placed in the Library No Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution 1970 Yes - presented Parliament No n/a Royal Warrant
§ Mr. Chris Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what guidelines he has issued as to the propriety of(a) chairmen of public bodies with a specific responsibility for the natural environment and (b) the chairman of English Nature in particular, holding paid advisory or managerial positions with (i) private companies involved in waste disposal or (ii) privatised water companies.
§ Mr. Atkins
Revised rules were drawn to the attention of the chief executives of the Department's sponsored bodies and discussed with them in April 1991. Following this, the board or council of each body was asked to review its arrangements and report the results to the Department. The essence of our guidance is that relevant interests should be declared on a register and members should refrain from discussion or decisions when matters affecting such an interest come before the board or council. I wish strongly to repudiate the inference in the hon. Gentleman's question that the chairman of English Nature might be18W the Building Regulations Advisory Committee, the Inland Waterways Amenity Advisory Council and the Local Government Commission for England in specified circumstances. In addition, the Government regularly seek advisory NDPBs' views on a range of issues. There are no stautory requirements for the Government to publish responses to advice from advisory bodies, but responses are published, or other action taken, when it is appropriate to do so.
acting improperly in holding advisory or main board non-executive appointments in private companies. Precisely the reverse—we expect the services of people we appoint to public bodies for their eminence and expertise to be.[...]ought by others in related spheres and I believe that it does nothing for good government to impugn their reputation when they have observed the rules about disclosure of interest in the letter and in the spirit.