§ Kate Hoey
I am fully aware of the concerns which have been expressed in respect of the operation of the English Table Tennis Association (ETTA) and the role of its Chairman. These issues have been investigated by Sport England and the National Audit Office. As a result, the ETTA has taken a number of steps, including changes to its rules, committee structure and constitution, in order to prevent the risk of conflicts of interest arising and of members gaining unfair commercial advantage. In particular, it has set up a trade committee, upon which the Chairman does not sit, to deal with any business in which the chairman might have a commercial interest. The ETTA is also on the "watch list" of Sport England's Management Audit Department and is therefore subject to regular review and monitoring. This has indicated that all of the required operational procedures are being fully implemented by the ETTA. Sport England is also satisfied, having investigated a number of specific complaints, that there has been no misuse of public funds in respect of the ETTA. However, in view of the concerns which have been expressed in the past about the ETTA, the Chairman of Sport England has, at my request, agreed to carry out a further review of the progress being made towards the original recommendations made to the ETTA by the National Audit Office and Sport England. I have asked my officials to discuss the review with Sport England's Management Audit Department and report back to me as soon as it has been undertaken.
§ Kate Hoey
I am aware that a complaint was made to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC), the successor body to the Press Council, on behalf of Alan Ransome, Chairman of the English Table Tennis Association (ETTA) in relation to an article by John Goodbody inThe Times on 14 December 1998. I have read the PCC's subsequent adjudication and they concluded that Mr. Ransome's complaints did not amount to a breach of the Code of Practice.23W
The Government do not generally comment on specific cases brought before the PCC. We remain of the belief that an effective voluntary Code of Practice for the print media, overseen by the PCC, is the best way of ensuring high editorial standards.