HC Deb 19 December 1997 vol 303 cc357-8W
Mr. Jim Marshall

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement about a financial, management and policy review of the UK Ecolabelling Board. [22355]

Mr. Meacher

As part of the Government's programme of regular five-yearly financial management and policy reviews of non-departmental public bodies, my Department has now begun a thorough review of the United Kingdom Ecolabelling Board (UKEB).

The first stage of the review will take the form of a "prior options" study, which I expect to be completed by March 1998. This study will assess the extent to which UKEB's functions are necessary and consider both the existing arrangements and possible alternatives for handling these functions.

The review also provides an opportunity to explore what other activities might help improve the provision of environmental information for consumers. My Department will consult widely with organisations which have an interest in this field. As well as issues connected with the delivery of the present EU ecolabelling scheme, views will be invited on the case for a national award scheme and the mechanisms needed to raise the standard of environmental claims generally.