§ Valerie Davey
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans the Government have to review the role and function of the Equal Opportunities Commission. 
§ Mr. Andrew Smith
Against the background of this Government's firm commitment to equal opportunities and the practice of quinquennial policy and financial management reviews of non-departmental public bodies, the Department will conduct a thorough review of the Equal Opportunities Commission during 1997–98. The first stage of the review will take the form of a "prior options" study with the following terms of reference: 125W
- 1. To review the functions of the Equal Opportunities Commission, the effectiveness with which they have been carried out and the likely need in future for these functions.
- 2. To consider the case for the continued existence of the Equal Opportunities Commission and how its functions can be best fulfilled.
- 3. To consider the powers, constitutional status, membership and terms of reference of the Equal Opportunities Commission.
- 4. The review will have regard to the Government's equal opportunities policies and to the duties of the Commission as laid down in statute.
- 5. To report the outcome of the review by 11 September 1997.
This study is now underway and I would welcome comments from interested parties. Comments, which may be made public unless respondents specifically request otherwise, should be sent, by 4 July, to:
- Jane Anderson
- Divisional Manager
- Sex and Race Equality Division
- Department for Education and Employment
- Room 401
- Caxton House
- Tothill Street
- London SW1H 9NF.