HC Deb 20 May 2002 vol 386 cc27-8W
Mr. Bercow

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the mandate of the committee on the second general system for the recognition of professional education and training is; what the annual cost of its work is to public funds; if she will list the items currently under its consideration; if she will take steps to increase its accountability and transparency to Parliament; and if she will make a statement. [56763]

Margaret Hodge

The committee on the second general system for the recognition of professional education and training assists the European Commission to consider requests made by member states to revise information relating to Annexes C and D of Directive 92/51/EEC. There has been just one meeting of the committee in the last five years—in November 2001. Travel expenses were met from Commission resources. The subsistence cost incurred by this Department was £114. Amendments to Annex C of Directive 92/51/EEC currently under consideration of the committee areGermany—change of title from "occupational therapist" to "occupational therapist/ergotherapist Italy—delete the profession of "chiropodist Austria—insert the profession of "bookkeeper UK—insert the profession of "listed veterinary nurse". In the interests of improving information to the public and transparency, the Committee agreed at its meeting in November 2001 to amend its Rules of Procedure to conform to the new comitology decision. Together with member states, the Commission is currently conducting a review to bring existing legislation on the conduct of comitology committees into line with Council Decision 1999/468/EC, to "simplify the requirements for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission". As an obligation to this Decision, the Commission undertook to publish an annual report on the working of committees. The first report was deposited in the Libraries of both Houses on 26 February (Commission Document 5685–02). As part of the review process, the UK Government have encouraged the Commission to produce and maintain an electronic database of every comitology committee, its agendas and recent actions, to be accessible through its website.