§ Dr. Michael Clark
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when the report of the multi-departmental scrutiny of public sector research establishments will be published; and what arrangements have been made for public consultation on the report's findings.
§ Mr. Waldegrave
I am pleased to announce that the report on the efficiency scrutiny of civil public sector research establishments is being published today. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. The scrutiny was foreshadowed in the White Paper "Realising our potential: a strategy for science, engineering and technology". I announced its terms of reference on 2 February and the bodies to be covered on 3 March,Official Report, columns 809–11.
As Minister for Science, I am determined to ensure that Government resources are spent to the maximum extent possible on science rather than on administrative overheads. The scrutiny team's report proposes a range of options. I and my colleagues in other Departments will be examining these proposals carefully before deciding on the Government's response.
The Government wish to ensure that all interested parties have an opportunity to contribute to the decision-making process on the report. There will accordingly be a four-month public consultation period, beginning today and ending on 11 November, during which all individuals and organisations who wish to comment are invited to forward views to the Office of Science and Technology, head of trans-departmental science and technology group. The Government will take these views into account in reaching their decisions on the way forward.