HC Deb 11 February 1998 vol 306 c218W
Mr. Sarwar

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans she has to improve current liquidation and bankruptcy procedures. [28704]

Mr. Nigel Griffiths

When Parliamentary time allows, I intend to introduce legislation to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the procedure for disqualifying unfit company directors. This will make it possible for a person who under the present law is or could be subject to an application for a disqualification order instead to give an undertaking to the Secretary of State which would have the same legal effects as a disqualification order made by a court. I also wish to make it easier for firms in financial difficulty to make voluntary arrangements with their creditors by introducing into the existing statutory framework the option of a moratorium to give the company's management a breathing space within which to put a rescue plan to creditors.

A working party is reviewing the current state of regulation in the insolvency profession and recently issued a consultation paper "Insolvency Practitioner Regulation—Ten Years On". Responses to that will inform their final report to the Secretary of State and the insolvency recognised professional bodies. Another working party, chaired by Mr. Justice Ferris, is considering remuneration of office holders and is expected to report in the spring. These findings and conclusions of both groups will be given very careful consideration when received.